It turns out a recent flight took a turn for the toilet after a group of passengers were infected with a virus that caused them to spend more than 12 hours in the air while barely being able to contain the their stomachs' contents. The flight was so awful it sounded like the second cousin of the "poop cruise."
You may remember the "poop cruise" that was stranded in the Gulf of Mexico last February because CNN made it into this huge thing. The passengers were running out of food and supplies and things got messy. CNN's coverage became the punchline to a million bad jokes, even some from The Atlantic Wire, and became synonymous with the Jeff Zucker era at the 24 hour news network.
But this sounds so, so much worse. Jalopnik called it "the poop plane from hell," and, well, they're right. Sixteen passengers on a 13-hour Qantas flight from Chile to Australia were taken to the hospital after they, along with a few others, contracted symptoms consistent with norovirus while in the air, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Norovirus causes the stomach and intestine to inflame, and leads to stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.
A group of students and teachers returning from a school trip spent the entire flight pooping and vomiting because, officials believe, the group acquired the virus prior to boarding the plane. And, to make matters worse, the Australian Associated Press reports the Boeing 747-400 only had four toilets. Three people were carted off the plane on a stretcher. Lisa McCormick, an unlucky passenger who was luckily not infected with the gastrointestinal illness, described the ordeal to a local news outlet:
She said they "unfortunately were rather sick for the whole entire flight. What a terrible way to end their holiday".
"It just gradually wore through them all as the flight wore on, and it was 13 hours so it was a very long flight for them,"she said.
To make things easier for everyone on board, the Australian AP says the infected passengers were moved to the back of the plane. That probably didn't help the smell much, but it didn't hurt, either.
There's no word whether the Australian CNN covered the flight as extensively as the poop cruise.
[Image: a Qantas Boeing that made an emergency landing in the Philippines in 2008 because of some visible damage to the plane's exterior.]