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Air passengers stranded in Canada

20 August 2013 09:34

Passengers on board the Virgin Atlantic flight had to spent the night in Gander Airport

Passengers on board the Virgin Atlantic flight had to spent the night in Gander Airport

Hundreds of passengers suffered prolonged disruption on Saturday as a flight from Heathrow to New York had to make an emergency landing at a small Canadian airport.

More than 250 people, including a number of British holidaymakers, on board the Virgin Atlantic VS25 flight were forced to stop at Gander Airport in Newfoundland overnight as there were no available hotel rooms in the local area.

A technical fault with refuelling is believed to have caused the unscheduled touch down, although the airline is yet to explain exactly what happened as engineers are currently performing tests on the problematic plane.

"Stuck at Gander Airport, Newfoundland.#Virgin 25 #Heathrow - NY put us here; claimed mechanical problems, then said it was low fuel #stranded," wrote passenger Matt Roberts on Twitter.

Sara Davar, who was also on the flight, added: "#Stranded @VirginAtlantic flight VS25 from LDN had to emergency land in Gander, Canada due to technical issues."

Newfoundland has a population of around 10,000 and passengers were told by Virgin officials that there were no rooms available in local hotels.

Adults and children therefore had to sleep in the airport terminal with just blankets for comfort.

Although nothing can be done at the time of such an event, customers can ensure they are covered should anything happen to their luggage during the ordeal by taking out adequate travel insurance beforehand.

"Virgin Atlantic can confirm that flight VS25 from London Heathrow to New York JFK has diverted to Gander due to a technical fault," said a Virgin spokeswoman on Sunday. "All passengers and crew have remained at Gander overnight on 17th August and a replacement aircraft will take them to their destination today.

"The safety and welfare of passengers and crew is Virgin Atlantic's top priority. The airline would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused."