Passengers onboard a British Airways (BA) Airbus A321 safely evacuated the aircraft via emergency slides Aug. 5 after smoke filled the cabin on its landing approach in Spain.

Flight BA422 from London Heathrow to Valencia, carrying 175 passengers plus eight crew members, was around 10 minutes from its destination airport when passengers became aware of white smoke.

Video and photographs posted on social media by passengers showed thick white smoke, with a cabin crew member speaking on an intercom and apparently trying to locate her colleagues elsewhere in the cabin.

“Very quickly, you couldn't see the passengers two seats down from you,” one passenger told the BBC. The passenger, a BBC editor, said there had been no official announcement about what was happening as white smoke appeared to come through the air conditioning system into the cabin.

In a statement, BA said the aircraft “experienced a technical issue on its landing approach into Valencia.

“All our customers were evacuated safely by our crew and met by the airport’s emergency services. Three customers were taken to hospital as a precaution and have since been discharged.

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our highest priority. In addition to our team on site, other British Airways team members have arrived in Valencia to help our customers and our local airport partners with anything they need.

“We sent additional resource to Valencia Airport to support our customers with anything they needed on the ground and provided them with accommodation. We appreciate this has been a very difficult time for our customers and we will be offering counselling services for those who feel it would be helpful.”

The cause of the incident is under investigation, a BA spokeswoman told ATW.

Alan Dron, alandron@adepteditorial.com