Virgin Atlantic flight to London makes emergency landing in Boston after fire on board

The fire is believed to have been caused by a faulty phone charger

The A330 carrier was forced to make an emergency landing in Boston (Photo by LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

A Virgin Atlantic flight travelling to London from New York was forced to make an emergency landing in Bostonon Thursday evening after a fire broke out onboard.

Massachusetts State Police discovered a faulty portable phone charger wedged between the cushions of two seats onboard the A330 carrier, which is believed to have caused the fire.

All 217 passengers and crew were safely evacuated from the plane, with one passenger refusing treatement for a smoke-related complaint, the Associated Press reported.

Safe evacuation

Virgin Atlantic flight 138 departed John F Kennedy airport at around 8pm on Thursday bound for London Heathrow, which it was expected to land at around 7.20am local time.

After less than 30 minutes in the air, the flight landed at Boston Logan Airport at 8.50pm local time after smoke appeared in the aircraft cabin. All 217 passengers and crew were safely evacuated.

A police spokesperson said initial investigations suggested the fault electrical item was a battery pack “consistent in appearance with an external phone charger”.

Virgin Atlantic scraps rule requiring female cabin crew to wear make-up

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told i: “The VS138 from JFK to London Heathrow (4 July 2019) diverted to Boston due to reports of smoke in the cabin.

“Our crew responded immediately and the plane has landed safely in Boston.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we are currently investigating to fully understand the circumstances.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience as we work with them to provide local accommodation or to rebook alternative flights to their final destination.”

Second unexpected landing in Boston

The incident was the second unexpected landing at the busy New England airport on Thursday.

American Airlines flight 1172 from Chicago called in an emergency when a cockpit landing indicated a potential mechanical issue as the plane approached Boston, but landed without further incident.

Virgin Atlantic, which was established in 1984 by Sir Richard Branson, has more than five million people travel on the airline every year.

The carrier hit the headlines in March this year after dropping mandatory make-up rules previously imposed on women cabin crew.

Female crew members were also issued with trousers for the first time as part of their standard uniform.

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 13604 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
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