Tom Daley, a diver for England’s Olympic team, and other passengers flying from Shanghai to London were involved in a frightening emergency landing Monday morning in Siberia.
Daley, admitting to being jittery after last week’s downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, posted an image to Instagram after his Virgin Atlantic flight was forced to dump fuel and land in Russia. “Just had to make an emergency landing in Irkutsk, Russia on the way back from Shanghai,” Daley, who was traveling with his boyfriend, Dustin Lance Black, wrote on Instagram. “Here’s the pic of the fuel dump before landing.”
Daley, who made headlines last December when he revealed that he was in a relationship with a man to his 2.6 million Twitter followers, was returning home from world championships in China when the incident on his flight occurred. The plane, carrying 301 people, experienced what a Virgin spokesperson said was “technical difficulty.”
“Virgin Atlantic can confirm that the VS251 traveling 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 spokesperson told the Independent at midmorning.
“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.”
Still, it was pretty unsettling, as Black’s video of the plane dumping fuel showed on Facebook.
— Tom Daley (@TomDaley1994) July 21, 2014