The pilots of a chartered plane were forced to make an emergency landing at Lal Bahadur Shastri airport here late on Tuesday night after apprehending that one of the two Australian passengers on board was a swine flu patient.
The couple - Antoinette Joy, 54 and Malcolm Single, both working for a multinational company in Sonebhadra, had hired the chartered plane for New Delhi.
They had boarded the plane from Mayurpur airstrip on UP Madhya Pradesh border. When the flight was on its way to New Delhi, the couple put on facemasks.
After this, the two pilots, Rishi and Ranveer, inquired why the two Australians had put on the masks.
When they came to know that one of the passengers, Antoinette Joy, was a suspected swine flu patient, they alerted the air traffic control of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport for emergency landing.
When the ATC staff inquired about the reason behind emergency landing, the pilots apprised them about the suspected patients.
SK Malik, director, Lal Bahadur Shastri airport, stated that both the passengers were rushed to Apex Hospital, a private hospital, as there was no facility for testing a swine flu patient at the airport.
The patient was undergoing treatment in a private ward of the hospital. Doctors informed that the sample had been sent to Lucknow for test. As a precautionary measure, the CISF personnel deployed at the airport would be given masks to ward off any threat from swine flu.