Last updated: 01:33 PM ET, Thu July 23 2015

LAX-Bound United Airlines Flight Diverts After Multiple Passengers Fall Ill

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | July 23, 2015

LAX-Bound United Airlines Flight Diverts After Multiple Passengers Fall Ill

A United Airlines flight traveling from Denver to Los Angeles was forced to divert to Grand Junction, Colorado shortly after takeoff Wednesday after several passengers became ill, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Flight 447, which was carrying 150 passengers and six crew members, declared an emergency stemming from a medical issue on board.

Upon landing, the plane was met by medical personnel on the tarmac, where firefighters evaluated roughly a dozen or so passengers who were suffering from symptoms ranging from headaches to nausea. 

"When we got on scene and boarded the aircraft, our firefighters did not detect any abnormal oxygen levels, [carbon dioxide] levels, and everyone was alert and oriented," said Grand Junction Fire Department spokesman Shawn Montgomery via the Times. "There were zero air quality deficiencies; there was really no other reason for it."

With the plane's cabin having checked out, officials attributed the bizarre situation to a "chain reaction" that led to a "stressful situation." 

"It looks like there was a medical event with one person, and that caused a little bit of a chain reaction in several other people," said Montgomery. The individual who had initially fallen ill after takeoff was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

United said passengers would continue on to Los Angeles in a different plane, while the plane in question would be inspected by maintenance workers, per the Times. 

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