'Fighting and vomiting' as BA plane makes two emergency landings in 24 hours

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'Fighting and vomiting' as BA plane makes two emergency landings in 24 hours
'Fighting and vomiting' as BA plane makes two emergency landings in 24 hours

Passengers on a British Airways flight to London from Saudi Arabia were left "terrified" after the plane had to return to the airport twice in 24 hours.

The jet was due to leave the King Khalid International Airport at 12.40am on Wednesday, but was delayed for five hours and in the air for about 40 minutes before making an emergency landing because of a problem with the plane's wing flaps.

On Thursday, passengers boarded the same plane at around 8.45am but the problem reoccurred and the plane had to abort the flight for a second time.

According to the Daily Telegraph, passengers were "physically sick and crying" during the landings, which reportedly saw ambulance and fire crews chasing the plane down the runway.

Before both landings, the plane had to circle the desert to dump around 20 tonnes of fuel to be the correct weight to land safely.

One passenger, Dean Jones, told the Daily Mail that there was "mayhem" in the terminal as one BA worker tried to deal with around 300 passengers. He told the paper: "Fights broke out and the military turned up."

Mr Jones said of the first landing: "We were circling over the desert with fuel streaming out. People were anxious. Then we came back to Riyadh very fast and very low over the city.

"There was screaming and crying. We hit the runway with a massive bang."

On the second emergency landing, he said: "People were even more frightened. Women were crying. People were being sick."

A BA spokesman apologised to its customers for the experience and, according to the Independent, said: "Our customer service teams are contacting customers directly to offer compensation, expenses and complimentary tickets as a gesture of goodwill.

"The safety of our customers and crew is always our first concern and due to a technical problem, the decision was taken to return the aircraft to Riyadh."

The spokesman added that the crew and customer service teams "did everything they could to care for customers".

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