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JetBlue investigating illnesses that diverted 3 flights in 2 weeks

JetBlue odor mystery
JetBlue odor mystery 01:46

WASHINGTON -- Mysterious fumes have recently caused problems for passengers and crew aboard JetBlue flights, all on Airbus A320 planes.

On JetBlue flight 19 Thursday night, 126 passengers had to evacuate after fumes sickened members of the crew.

The flight from Boston to San Diego diverted to Buffalo, where firefighters searched the plane. A pilot and two flight attendants were taken to a hospital.

Passenger Michael Feuerstein shot video after the flight landed showing the firefighters on board.

Cell phone video from on board JetBlue flight 19 Michael Feuerstein

"That's all you could smell, jet fuel," Feuerstein said. "I have a massive headache … I'm just extremely exhausted and kind of traumatized by the whole incident. It was terrifying."

Just hours earlier in Fort Lauderdale, ambulances waited as JetBlue flight 385 bound for Barbados returned to the gate.

"They have a plane that's coming back, initially with three flight attendants with headache," said an emergency dispatcher. "Somebody on oxygen, they say it's because of fumes."

And last week, a third JetBlue Airbus with 153 on board made an emergency landing in Oklahoma City due to an odor in the cabin. Three crew members and two passengers were taken to the hospital.

Mark Rosenker CBS News

"Jet aircraft gets its air that people breathe from the engines," said former NTSB Chair Mark Rosenker.

He says in rare instances, the seals on the engines can leak, allowing chemicals in.

"It then blends with the air which is being pushed into the aircraft that people are breathing. And that's where these aromas will many times come from," Rosenker said.

Fire crews did not detect anything at dangerous levels after the two Thursday flights landed. JetBlue and the FAA are investigating all three incidents.

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