AN airliner was forced to make an emergency landing in Russia today after passengers began complaining they were “suffocating” and “turning green”.
Panic swept through the cabin of the Ural Airlines flight from Moscow to Dubai about one hour 25 minutes into the journey.
One described it as “some kind of plague” and another claimed sickly passengers had “greatly dilated pupils”.
Fearing mass poisoning on board, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing in the southern Russian city of Volgograd.
Doctors and paramedics from five ambulances rushed on board the Airbus A321-211, videos show.
Several passengers were taken for urgent medical treatment. Their conditions were not immediately known.
Particularly affected were passengers between rows 21 and 26 in economy class.
A woman passenger from Sochi said left the aircraft in Volgograd: “I was woken by a young woman screaming for assistance.
She yelled and screamed ‘Help, help!’ because her husband felt ill. He was feeling really bad.
“He was suffocating and he couldn’t breathe in.
“His face went the colour green — then a panic swept through the plane.”
Those with children moved them away from the rows blighted by the strange symptoms as people feared a infectious disease was sweeping through the plane
Passenger Ilya Binder told TV360 a number of passengers began to feel “sharply ill” some 40 minutes into the flight.
He said: “All of them had greatly dilated pupils. They were suffocating.
“The flight attendants were in panic, and the aircraft captain decided to make an emergency landing in Volgograd.”
Mr Binder is convinced the condition was “definitely not food poisoning”.
An airport official said that five people felt unwell from the mystery poisoning when the plane landed.
Anastasia Golodova, airport spokeswoman, said the Ural Airline plane of landed at 7.23am (3.23amGMT) today.
After treatment three decided to continue the flight but two refused and were admitted to hospital.
The plane was thoroughly checked and left again for Dubai after two hours.
There has been no official explanation so far for what caused the terrifying symptoms.
One theory was food poisoning hitting a group of passengers who had eaten together before the flight.