A Qantas flight from Chile to Sydney was blighted after 26 passengers were struck by severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
Those affected were a tour group of Australian teenagers and their teachers who were on board Qantas flight QF28 so that they could return to their home country after celebrating World Youth Day, which was hosted by the Pope, in Brazil.
However, around two hours after take off the group of Catholics were all suddenly overcome with vomiting and diarrhoea, so much so that when the plane landed sixteen of the troupe were taken to hospital by ambulance immediately.
The students, each of whom were aged between 15 and 17, were among over 300 passengers on the flight, which left Santiago just after midnight on Thursday.
Gabrielle Sinclair, a passenger on the plane, didn’t realise that they had been so much commotion until after the plane landed.
She remarked, “I was sitting on another part of the plane with a different group so I didn’t know about it until we were taxiing down the runway. For the people who were sitting around them, I’m sure it would have been an unpleasant flight.”
The students who fell ill had to battle for the eight available toilets that were on board the Boeing 747.
Lisa McCormick, another passenger onboard, stated, “It just gradually wore through them all as the flight wore on, and it was 13 hours so it was a very long flight for them. What a terrible way to end their holiday.”
Health officials have noted that their symptoms are consistent with individuals who suffer from the norovirus infection. Two doctors and nurse, who were onboard the flight, attempted to assist those suffering from the condition, however there wasn’t a lot that they could do.
The plane was then quarantined and moved to a safe area of the airport, before being disinfected.