1 passenger hospitalized, 8 others stricken on Southwest Air flight

Cause of illness probed on Houston-to-BWI plane

July 16, 2004|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

At least one passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines plane was hospitalized last night after being stricken with an unknown illness while aboard a flight from Houston to Baltimore-Washington International Airport, authorities said.

The illness was non life-threatening, authorities said.

A BWI spokeswoman said one passenger became ill shortly after Flight 1283 left Houston and that as many as eight passengers showed signs of illness when the plane landed at 10:45 p.m. at BWI.

The most seriously ill passenger was taken to North Arundel Hospital in Glen Burnie for treatment. In the meantime, airport personnel were attempting to determine the cause of the illness. The food on the plane as well as the plane's ventilation system were being examined, authorities said.

After the plane landed at gate C-11 at BWI, airport emergency personnel tended to the stricken passengers before transporting them to the hospital by ambulances.

Capt. Michael Cox, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, said four county ambulances were dispatched to the airport to assist airport emergency personnel.

Four ambulances from Baltimore County fire stations at Halethorpe, Westview, Arbutus and Catonsville also were dispatched to the airport, but did not transport anyone to hospitals, said Lt. Larry Wroten, a Fire Department dispatcher supervisor.

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