At least four passengers collapsed on a flight to Greece, overwhelming crew on the flight from Germany. The circumstances leading to the successive fainting spells reman a mystery.
Four Passengers Mysteriously Collapse On Charter Flight To Greece
The incident occurred on Corendon Airlines Europe onboard a Boeing 737-800 (registration 9H-TJE) traveling as flight XR1050 from Cologne (CGN) to Rhodes (RHO) on October 25, 2021. Corendon is a charter airline based in Malta
According to the Aviation Herald, the trouble began after the flight leveled off. A woman stepped out of the bathroom, then collapsed. She was “completely pale, unconscious and trembling from head to foot.” Moments later a man collapsed nearby. Then another. Then another.
A doctor and nurse onboard began treating the patients. The woman was unconscious for 20-30 minutes, but all began to recover “after the cabin air conditioning had been reconfigured.” At one point, the doctor asked for a defibrillator but was told there was none onboard. According to his report, he did make use of the onboard medial kit.
The aircraft continued to Rhodes and landed on schedule, then returned less than 90 minutes later. It remains in service.
The Aviation Herald further reports that passengers noted the strong smell of exhaust when boarding. This can happen when aircraft are not connected to an auxiliary power unit (APU) at the gate. While that is the likely culprit for the multiple fainting smells onboard, Corendon Airlines issued a very defensive statement downplaying that possibility:
“Only four passengers felt unwell. Cabin Crew immediately took necessary actions for those 4 passengers in compliance with Cabin First Aid Procedure during flight. A doctor and a nurse were on the aircraft and made promptly medical intervention to the passengers feeling unwell but they could not found any serious symptoms. The doctor did not recommend the crew to divert and he did not use aircraft medical kit which was made available for him during his assistance.
We also would like to inform you that after the relevant occurrence; maintenance records, recorded parameters of subject flight thru FDM (flight data monitoring), and crew reports etc. have been analyzed by our maintenance and safety departments and no abnormal parameter which might cause the occurrence has been found. On the return flight of same aircraft from Rhodes to Cologne (CXI-1051) with 184 pax, no similar complaint has been received.”
That account differs from a medical report examined by the Aviation Herald which noted the doctor did use the aircraft medical kit, but the bigger question is: what happened?
Clearly, something happened. I suspect it was a strong fume of some kind, potentially linked to the lavatory. But four people don’t just faint because they are hungry, all at once.
The circumstances surrounding the collapse of four passengers on a Corendon Airlines flight to Greece remain a mystery. A fume is the likely suspect, but what kind of fume is not clear.