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Smoke fills cabin as stricken British Airways flight lands in Spain

By Nicholas Sakelaris
The Airbus A320 had covered nearly the entire flight from London to Valencia, Spain, when the smoke emerged. File Photo by Tupungato/Shutterstock
The Airbus A320 had covered nearly the entire flight from London to Valencia, Spain, when the smoke emerged. File Photo by Tupungato/Shutterstock

Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Authorities said a British Airways flight was just minutes from landing in Spain Tuesday when the entire passenger cabin was filled with smoke, stoking moments of panic that were captured on video.

Officials said a "technical issue" caused the smoke on Flight 422 before it touched down at Valencia Airport in Manises, Spain. It had taken off earlier from London's Heathrow International Airport. Emergency personnel deployed the slides and evacuated the Airbus A320 immediately on landing.

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"We covered our mouths with our clothes. We don't know why the oxygen masks didn't deploy," traveler Lucy Brown told CNN. "Passengers started shouting they couldn't breathe."

Three people were briefly hospitalized with minor injuries, but some passengers said it could've been worse, blaming the flight crew for failing to give them clear instructions. British Airways said all 175 passengers and eight crew were aboard.

The British Air Line Pilots Association praised the carrier.

"We will await the accident report, but this looks to have been a very well-managed emergency situation, and overall a good outcome," it said. "We pay tribute to the pilots and crew for a job very well done.

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"The pilots and crew appear to have done an excellent and highly-professional job of getting this aircraft safely onto the ground in very difficult circumstances."

A passenger recorded the chaos in the cabin upon landing.

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