Nearly a dozen passengers on a flight to Denver fell ill Saturday afternoon, according to Tulsa World. This was a case of carbon monoxide poisoning. The flight from Atlanta was diverted to the Tulsa International Airport. This was after elevated levels of carbon monoxide made nine people feel ill.
One of the flight attendants was serving beverages from the cart and said that she felt like somebody slipped her kryptonite. She grabbed another flight attendant and returned to the front of the aircraft.
At the same time, six more people began to feel sick. Some were putting their heads down, others asking for bags to throw up in. A couple more people began to feel ill as well. Nausea and vomiting as well as dull headaches are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Authorities say they received the phone call notifying them that people were ill around 3 p.m. The flight was diverted to Tulsa around 3:10 p.m. Carbon monoxide can be a life-threatening illness, and people suffering from it need to be exposed to fresh air as soon as possible. 150 people were forced to exit the aircraft.
Of the nine people, one was transported to the hospital in at least fair condition. The fire captain said they found slightly elevated levels of carbon monoxide in the aircraft and the people’s blood. Being trapped on an airplane with people feeling sick around you must be a very scary experience, because there is no escape. Relief must have been felt when the flight was able to land and people were exposed to fresh air.
People were allowed back onto the plane to retrieve their belongings when the carbon monoxide levels were deemed safe.
Saturday night, a flight arrived from Minneapolis around 9:40 p.m. to transport people to Denver. The flight landed in Denver around 10:44 p.m. local time. This was about seven-and-a-half hours after its scheduled arrival time.
We have a major additional criticism of how Delta handled this situation. All passengers should have been screened for carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) in their blood. If any passenger was poisoned, all passengers would have been exposed to the same atmosphere. We know that any significant elevation of COHb can cause not only acute problems, but delayed neurological sequelae (DNS). Most of the brain damage that occurs after carbon monoxide poisoning is likely related to DNS. At least 40 percent of those people with elevated levels of COHb are at risk for DNS. The airline appears to have only screened one of these people for COHb.
This failure to transport all passengers for blood screening added a whole new layer of fault onto a situation that presumptively has to have been Delta’s fault.
Source: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on Plane to Denver Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on Plane to Denver