Emirates flight quarantined at JFK with 100 passengers "coughing nonstop"

Emirates Dubai New York plane with sick passengers quarantined at JFK

On Wednesday, NBC News reported an Emirates flight arriving from Dubai and landing in John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City was being quarantined after many passengers reported feeling sick.

"I asked the (flight attendant) for a mask before we even took off, but there was none available", Erin Sykes, an Emirates passenger, told CNN.

Emirates Airline Flight EK203 touched down in NY around 9am ET Wednesday after the pilot contacted air traffic controllers, telling them that many of his 500 passengers appeared to be sick with fevers over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.7 C) and several of them were coughing.

Air cabin crew members and emergency services are seen leaving plane after passengers were taken ill on Emirates flight | Larry Coben  via REUTERS
Air cabin crew members and emergency services are seen leaving plane after passengers were taken ill on Emirates flight | Larry Coben via REUTERS

USA media showed images of the double decker A380 aircraft isolated on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport and reported that the jet had been quarantined.

Passengers "were immediately checked by local health authorities and those needing medical attention will be attended to", said an airline spokeswoman in a statement.

All other passengers would disembark shortly, it added. "The safety & care of our customers is our first priority", the statement said.

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A passenger shared video footage of inside the grounded Emirates Airlines plane that reportedly landed with numerous sick people on board on September 5.

The plane - a double-deck Airbus 380 - was taken to a location away from the terminal so emergency officials could evaluate the situation, Port Authority of NY and New Jersey officials said in a statement.

In an earlier tweet, Phillips suggested that the mystery illness could be influenza, noting that some of the passengers had come from Mecca, which he reported was experiencing a flu outbreak. Three passengers and seven crew members went to the hospital, Dubai-based Emirates said. He added that all symptoms pointed to the flu.

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By afternoon, there were still conflicting reports about how many people were sick and unanswered questions about the cause.

There were reports of 100 out of 500 passengers who fell ill on the plane.

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