Hillsborough County

Several passengers fall ill on plane flying into Tampa

Healthy passengers were held on the plane for more than an hour after landing

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Passengers on a Frontier flight were stuck on a plane in Tampa for more than an hour on New Year's Day after several people on board reported feeling sick.

Authorities tell WFLA six of the 226 total passengers on Frontier Flight 397 fell ill at some point during the flight from Cleveland to Tampa.

"They were just coming out of nowhere," said healthy passenger Tiffany McKinney. "Just throwing up, sick."  

Crew members let the passengers know mid-flight and asked anyone else feeling sick to let them know.

"It's a little bit concerning just because we didn't know what was going on," said another passenger, Cris Selong. "We didn't know what made everybody sick." 

The six people who were sick were not traveling together and are not related.

When the plane landed at Tampa International Airport around 3:30 p.m., the six sick passengers were removed and then held for medical observation.

At some point, passengers reported seeing health officials come on the plane wearing masks.

The passengers who were not sick were held on the plane for about an hour after landing. We're told that was at the request of health officials. 

The healthy passengers were allowed to deplane shortly after 4:30 p.m.

A spokesperson from the airport in Cleveland tells News Channel 8 there's a possibility the illnesses are connected to a drinking fountain. They have shut down the drinking fountains in the Frontier concourse at the airport just to be safe.

At this time, there have been no other reports of people getting sick.

Frontier Airlines released this statement to News Channel 8:

"During Frontier flight 1397 from Cleveland to Tampa this afternoon, six passengers became ill. The aircraft was met by local emergency medical services upon arrival in Tampa. Those passengers displaying symptoms were evaluated by medical staff before being released. All other passengers were released after a brief holding period. The cause of the illness remains under investigation. Passenger safety is Frontier’s number one priority."


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