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400 Passengers Stranded Near Arctic Circle after Emergency Landing

June 1, 1996

IQALUIT, Northwest Territories (AP) _ Nearly 400 passengers traveling from London to Los Angeles were stranded on an arctic island on Friday following an emergency landing that damaged the airliner, authorities said.

A passenger aboard Virgin Atlantic Flight 007 required immediate hospitalization for a heart attack, forcing the plane to land in the town of Iqaluit on Baffin Island, Canadian officials said.

As the Boeing 747 taxied in front of the terminal there, the engine clipped a gasoline pump on the air strip and spilled fuel. The jet was too damaged to fly.

The passengers were to be flown to New York on Saturday, then sent on to Los Angeles.

The passenger who had a heart attack over the Atlantic Ocean was reported in stable condition at a hospital.

Officials from Virgin Atlantic offices in Los Angeles could not be reached for comment after business hours Friday.