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Airport water fountains shut down after passengers become ill on Frontier Airlines flight

Several water fountains were shut down at a Cleveland airport after passengers aboard a Frontier Airlines fl...

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 11:55 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 11:55 PM

Several water fountains were shut down at a Cleveland airport after passengers aboard a Frontier Airlines flight became sick, airport officials said.

At least six passengers who traveled on Tampa-bound Frontier Airlines Flight 1397 on Tuesday fell ill after leaving Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

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The passengers, who were not traveling as a group, were vomiting by the time the plane landed, said Janet Scherberger, a Tampa International Airport spokeswoman.

While health officials have not confirmed what caused the illness, officials at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are looking into whether the water fountains may have contributed to it.

Michele Dynia, a spokeswoman for the airport, said the airport is uncertain if any sickened passengers drank from the closed fountains, but the fountains have been taken offline out of an abundance of caution. All remain turned off until tests can be completed after the holiday.

When asked if any other people at the airport reported being sick after drinking from the fountains, Dynia said no other passengers were sick.

The Cleveland Department of Public Health would interview the six affected passengers and try to confirm whether they drank water from the fountains, the city said.

City and airport officials "are working collaboratively to investigate all potential causes, including passenger activities before arriving at the airport. Based on our expertise, water borne illnesses generally have a longer incubation period than what we saw in this instance."

"Also, Cleveland Water has no known water safety issues in the vicinity of CLE, but is collecting additional street-level samples to verify."

More than 11,000 passengers traveled through the Cleveland airport on Tuesday and no other travelers reported similar illnesses, the city said.

In a statement, Frontier Airlines said the ill passengers were evaluated by medical staff before being released.

"The cause of the illness remains under investigation. Passenger safety is Frontier's number one priority," the airline said.

The rest of the passengers had to wait at least an hour and a half aboard the plane in Tampa before they were allowed off the aircraft, Scherberger said.

Sandra Palomino, who was traveling on Flight 1397 but was not sick, said passengers were asked to monitor their health for the next few days.

About 266 passengers were onboard during the incident, Scherberger said.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted an airport spokeswoman. It is not clear whether any of the sickened passengers drank from airport fountains.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 786168

Reported Deaths: 15016
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2607976353
Riverside566811153
San Bernardino52471908
Orange520631128
San Diego44577760
Kern31379354
Fresno27668355
Sacramento21297375
Alameda20558374
Santa Clara20410296
San Joaquin19793414
Stanislaus16319335
Contra Costa15837199
Tulare15599256
Ventura12328143
Imperial11558314
San Francisco1074599
San Mateo9522143
Monterey946767
Santa Barbara8862110
Merced8750134
Kings728377
Sonoma7060114
Marin6557112
Solano608555
Madera429658
Placer346641
San Luis Obispo336927
Butte274835
Yolo274754
Santa Cruz22188
Sutter164210
Napa161413
San Benito130111
Yuba11187
El Dorado10684
Mendocino84918
Lassen7310
Shasta68714
Glenn5503
Colusa5096
Nevada5066
Tehama4984
Humboldt4826
Lake46510
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2214
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1610
Del Norte1361
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc240
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Oroville
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Paradise
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Air quality has worsened for most of northern California as a lot of smoke from our area fires as settled over the valleys and foothills. We can expect more hazy, smoky sunshine on Tuesday with light to moderate breezes as autumn begins.
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