Vanilla Ice Feeling Fine After Being Quarantined on Emirates Plane Struck by Mysterious Illness
The "Ice Ice Baby" rapper documented his harrowing experience, as he was held on a plane by CDC officials
Vanilla Ice is tired but feeling fine after being quarantined on an Emirates plane struck by a mysterious illness.
“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal,” the rapper, who now stars in DIY Network’s home renovation show the Vanilla Ice Project, told The Blast of his experience. “During the flight there was a situation, they told us we would be in the middle of the runway after a 15-hour flight. They said there are some passengers that are ill so we are going to go out on the runway and hang out,” he said.
“They sealed off the two floors and eventually removed first class at a separate entrance.”
He told the outlet he is very tired following the long-haul flight, but feeling fine, though he missed his connecting flight to his home in Florida because of the delay on the tarmac.
He first tweeted about his experience aboard the flight, which arrived at New York’s JFK airport from Dubai Wednesday morning.
“So I just landed from Dubai and now there is like tons of ambulances and fire trucks and police all over the place,” he wrote on Twitter. Adding, “This is crazy. Apparently there is over 100 people sick on the bottom floor, so happy I’m up top, it’s a double decker plane 380.”
The flight, an Airbus A380 arriving from Dubai, had 500 passengers on board on two levels, CBS reports. Initial reports stated about 100 passengers were feeling sick, but that number was refuted by the airline.
“About 10 passengers on board flight EK203 from Dubai to New York were taken ill,” a representative for Emirates told PEOPLE in a statement Wednesday morning.
Emergency response vehicles from the Center for Disease Control and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey met the aircraft upon landing and officials kept passengers onboard until it could be determined who was affected by the illness. Three passengers and seven crew members have since been transported to local hospitals for treatment and the rest of the passengers have been released.
The “Ice Ice Baby” singer also shared a video on Facebook taken out the window of the plane after landing in which he and a seat mate can be heard discussing what’s happening.
Another passenger, Larry Coben, documented the saga on Twitter, sharing photos of passengers having their temperature taken as they exited the aircraft, a CDC form they were made to fill out. He also noted that they had been transported to the terminal by bus, then led to an empty customs hall where passport control agents who greeted them were wearing masks.
A representative for the CDC told PEOPLE Wednesday afternoon that it had been alerted early that morning that a flight had landed at JFK with “passengers, including crew members, complaining of illness including cough, fever, and symptoms of gastrointestinal illness. CDC public health officers . . . completed health evaluations (including taking temperatures) of all 549 passengers and crew members on board.”
The spokesperson noted that “11 individuals have been taken to a local hospital for care,” one more than Emirates reported, “and the remaining passengers have been released.”