British Airways Flight Makes Emergency Landing In Valencia After Cabin Fills With Smoke

British Airways had a serious incident involving smoke in the cabin during a flight from London-Heathrow to Valencia and made an emergency landing at the scheduled destination.

Flight BA422 LHR-VLC was operated by an Airbus A321 and even landed pretty much on time despite the incident, which apparently developed around the final approach.

Passengers have posted shocking images on social media showing a cabin that is entirely filled with smoke of an unknown origin, and once on the ground everybody disembarked via slides.

The Guardian reported tonight that all passengers are safe following disembarkation.

A British Airways flight from London to Valencia has landed at its destination in Spain after apparently suffering an onboard emergency.

One passenger on the flight tweeted videos that appeared to show a smoke-filled cabin and claimed that a fire had broken out.

The passenger, a Spanish sports journalist called Dani Meroño Bori, said he and others had been forced to leave the plane using the emergency slides. …

Meroño added: “Everyone’s OK but there were people who had a really rough time. It was a big shock when smoke started to appear when we were flying. Luckily we were close and everything turned out OK. We took a deep breath when we landed.”

The journalist complained about a lack of information from staff and said some passengers had been left to reassure others.

“Waiting for someone to come and talk to us about this. No protocol whatsoever. The British Airways flight crew haven’t told us anything. It was us passengers who tried to calm the older people or those that don’t speak any English.”

In a statement, British Airways said: “We can confirm that British Airways flight BA422 from Heathrow to Valencia has been involved in an incident today.

“The aircraft, an A321, has landed and all customers and crew have disembarked. British Airways teams are assisting customers who are in the airport terminal.”

Emergency situations are difficult, especially in combination with an evacuation that had passengers scrambling all over. Yes there should be a security protocol in place as to how a station handles emergencies, but that also relies heavily on local staff, which is often outsourced to a local service company.

I found this video on Youtube and it looks pretty scary:

Smoke in the cabin has caused serious accidents in the past including total losses of aircraft and all on board. These people were incredibly lucky!

You can follow the flight here on Flightradar24.

Conclusion

Hard to say how the crew reacted and if it was suitable to the situation. It’s easy to critique behavior but I think in such an instance you can’t train behavior and reaction to a 100% degree. It’s rare that cabin crew ever encounters a serious emergency situation such as this so it’s a once in a lifetime thing. How to prepare for that?

I’d be quite happy in this situation to be out of the aircraft alive, not having crashed or suffocated from the smoke.