British Airways flight fills with smoke, prompting evacuation

Passengers had to evacuate a British Airways flight Monday after smoke filled the cabin.

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The Valencia, Spain-bound flight from London was about 10 minutes from its destination when the cabin filled with smoke, passengers said. After landing, passengers exited the plane via the emergency slides.

“Felt like horror film,” one passenger wrote on Twitter. “Thankfully everyone safe.”

A British Airways spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business that Flight 422 experienced a technical issue during its final approach. All passengers were evacuated safely by the crew and airport emergency services.

There were 175 passengers plus six cabin crew and two pilots aboard, according to the airline. Three passengers were taken to a hospital as a precaution and have been discharged.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our highest priority,” the airline said.

The British Airline Pilots' Association commended the pilots Tuesday, praising them for safely landing the smoke-filled plane.

Brian Strutton, the general secretary of the pilots association, said the group believes the pilots had to land the plane while wearing full oxygen masks and goggles. That’s “extremely challenging,” he said.

That prompted some questions about why the oxygen masks in the main cabin didn’t drop as typical pre-flight safety demonstrations would lead some passengers to expect.

However, the oxygen masks are typically used for a loss of pressurization, British Airways told FOX Business. It’s not standard procedure to use when for smoke or at low altitude. The pilots association said the passenger systems mix the oxygen supply with the ambient air.

Strutton said the pilots and crew managed the emergency situation very well.

“Pilots are highly-trained and ready to handle emergencies of all kinds, but when one happens, the only thing that matters is whether the job gets done,” he said. “In this case, the pilots and crew appear to have done an excellent and highly-professional job of getting this aircraft safely onto the ground in very difficult circumstances, and safely evacuating all the passengers with no reported serious injuries.”