Flight BA422 left London Heathrow some hours ago and was traveling to Valencia, Spain. It made it to its destination, but only barely: as the plane had started to descend in preparation for landing, the cabin filled with smoke and there was a pregnant burning smell.
The plane made an emergency landing at the airport, but the doors remained closed for many more minutes, angry passengers lament on Twitter, according to the Daily Mail. Even after the emergency slides were deployed, there was no one there from the airline to welcome them and no one to explain them what was happening.
Some reports on social media say that passengers were locked inside the smoke-filled cabin for as much as 50 minutes, even though they could hardly breathe.
During the emergency, there was no communication from the pilot and cabin crew fended off questions from panicked fliers by saying they didn’t know what to do because they’d never been in a situation like this. So much for extensive training.
Videos that have popped up on social media show the chaos inside the cabin, but also after the emergency disembarkation.
Because no one knew how bad the situation was, many fliers rushed to take their carry-ons with them when they slid off the plane, which is against emergency protocol. As we speak, many passengers are still stranded at the Valencia airport, and British Airways is yet to speak to them to tell them what happened.
In a statement for the Mail, a spokesperson for BA confirms the incident but wouldn’t reveal the exact nature of it.
“We can confirm that British Airways flight BA422 from Heathrow to Valencia has been involved in an incident today,” the statement says. “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.”