A couple’s dream wedding anniversary holiday turned into a nightmare after their plane home caught fire and had to make an emergency landing.
Danny and Liselle McEwan were terrified as smoke poured into the cabin of their Thomas Cook flight from Mexico to Manchester.
The pilot had to divert to Bermuda as the drama unfolded.
Now the Bircotes couple are among several people from the 300 passengers on board who are taking legal action against the holiday company, claiming the incident has left Liselle with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Liselle, of Waterslack Road, Bircotes, said: “It was an absolutely terrifying experience.
“About 40 minutes after take-off the seat TVs started crackling and there was a strange smell. We told cabin crew as my chest started tightening but soon white smoke stated billowing from under one of the seats, and hung in the air like a white mist.
“I was terrified the aircraft was going to burst into flames and plunge into the Atlantic.
“It was obvious there were many other passengers who were also terrified and suffering from inhaling the smoke. Although the smoke kept coming out for a while there were no oxygen masks, and after we were evacuated I almost collapsed and had to be treated by paramedics.”
The couple, who had been celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, were later told there had been an electrical fire in the in-flight entertainment system.
Liselle, 33, says she is still suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning and Danny, 28, has also had health problems.
“I have suffered serious swelling and blistering in my nasal and throat passages making it very difficult to breathe,” said Liselle.
“I have had to have chest X-rays and need ongoing treatment with steroids to try to improve my breathing. Also, the fumes I was exposed to have left me with a very elevated pulse rate and low blood oxygen levels.”
Law firm Irwin Mitchell is now taking action on behalf of some passengers of the May 1 Airbus A330 flight.
Aviation lawyer Jim Morris said: “Smoke can cause serious injury when inhaled and exposure can have severe consequences for an individual’s health. It is possible fumes can contain dangerous toxins.”
A Thomas Cook spokesman said: “During the flight a minor fault became apparent and, as a precaution and to establish the extent of the issue, the captain requested a divert into Bermuda.
“The aircraft landed safely and all passengers were looked after in hotels until the fault was fixed and the aircraft was ready for departure.
“We would like to thank our passengers for their patience as we worked hard to get them back on their way home.”