Tom Daley's Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Russia
A plane carrying British Olympic diver Tom Daley and his boyfriend, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, had to make an emergency landing in Russia Monday for "a technical issue," the Telegraph reports.
A Virgin Atlantic Airbus A340 landed in in the Russian city of Irkutsk, a southeastern city near the Mongolia border, with 301 people on board, including Daley, 20, and Black, 40. Daley was coming back from a diving completion in Shanghai and was headed back to London.
"Just had to make an emergency landing in Irkutsk, Russia on the way back from Shanghai. Here's the pic of the fuel dump before landing," the athlete wrote on Facebook, including an image of what appears to be the plane spitting out smoke.
Black also took to Facebookk to write about the incident and said: "EMERGENCY LANDING into a Russian town. This was our view over Mongolia. #VirginAtlantic #ScaryAsHell"
The Academy Award-winning writer posted a video of the plane spitting smoke. Black later wrote on Facebook: "Locked in the broken plane. No word on what's happening. #EmergencyLanding in Russia. #FireEngines abound. #NeedToPee!"
Daley's fans flocked to his status update and voiced their concern, as Gay Star News points out.
"All the places to land and it had to be in freaky Russia, get out of there quick," one user wrote.
A Virgin spokeswoman commented on the incident and told the Telegraph:
Virgin Atlantic can confirm that the VS251 travelling from Shanghai to London Heathrow has diverted to Irkutsk Airport, Russia, as a precautionary measure due to a technical issue. Safety and security is always our top priority.
The aircraft is currently on the ground and our customers are being looked after by our cabin crew. Our priority now is to ensure our customers resume their journey as soon as possible.
The airline would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Daley placed fourth in the Diving World Cup final completion in Shanghai. He's scheduled to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on July 30.