January 8, 2016 5:25 pm
Updated: January 8, 2016 7:23 pm

Plane diverted to Calgary airport; EMS responds to ‘people who are ill’

RAW: Flight lands in Calgary after reports of ill passengers


CALGARY – Emergency crews boarded a plane at the Calgary International Airport Friday afternoon after what the airline called a “medical emergency.”

Alberta EMS said the flight departed from Munich and was en route to Los Angeles, but had to be diverted to Calgary after reports of “people who are ill.”

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EMS spokesperson Stuart Brideaux said initial reports suggested there were five ill patients, but upon assessing the passengers, only two patients were identified. Brideaux said only one of them, a woman in her 30s, needed to be taken to hospital.

“We were escorted, airside, to go aboard the aircraft, as it wasn’t permitted to go to the gate at that time when it was unknown what potentially the illness or the cause of illness was aboard,” Brideaux said. “We entered the plane by airstairs from the back, escorted on by staff to locate the patient, and she was brought down to a waiting ambulance.”

Paramedics didn’t know the exact cause of the woman’s illness, but said she was taken to the Peter Lougheed Centre in non-life-threatening condition with “complaints of a general medical nature.” Alberta Health Services said there was no risk to public health.

A Lufthansa spokesperson told Global News the plane was diverted “due to a medical emergency with one of the passengers on board.” In an email, Claudia Lange wrote there are 272 passengers on board the Airbus A340-600. She said the flight is scheduled to continue on its path and will arrive in Los Angeles about an hour and a half later than planned. The plane left Calgary just after 4 p.m. MT.

The last post on the airline’s official Twitter feed was published about 11 hours before the incident:

Whelmina Queitsch said she knew something was wrong when she saw the Lufthansa plane landing and ambulances at the airport.

“We were driving on McKnight Boulevard, and we saw the plane coming in really low. And right away, we know that’s a German plane, we flew it before,” she said.

“And I said, ‘that doesn’t come in here, that doesn’t makes sense—it goes to Vancouver or whatever, you know?’ And then…we saw that they took some people out in a stretcher. It’s hard to see from here…but I know there was something definitely wrong with the plane.”

Watch below: Witness describes watching diverted plane land

The Los Angeles airport website said Lufthansa flight LH452 left Munich at 12:17 p.m. local time and was then diverted to Calgary.

A Calgary airport spokesperson said the plane landed safely in Calgary and that airport staff were providing “operational support” to its partners.

Paramedics boarded the plane, which was parked away from the gates, just after 2 p.m. MT.

A Calgary Fire Department spokesperson told Global News one person was sick, which caused another person to be ill.

READ MORE: AC088 lands in Toronto after turbulence sends 21 people to Calgary hospital

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