Stop, decontaminate and listen: Vanilla Ice tweets from Emirates NYC flight

Vanilla Ice was okay because he was on the upper deck. (AFP)
Updated 06 September 2018

Stop, decontaminate and listen: Vanilla Ice tweets from Emirates NYC flight

  • Vanilla Ice was on the plane, but in the safe confines of the upper deck
  • His video has since gone viral, attracting even more attention than the original story

DUBAI: It was a case of Ice – not so nice – baby for the 1990s hip hop sensation Vanilla Ice – as the Emirates plane he was traveling on from Dubai to New York became the center of a health scare on Wednesday.

The 14-hour long flight on the Emirates A380 hit the headlines when several passengers fell ill – but at the time, what many people were unaware of was that the rapper-cum-TV presenter was on the upper deck.

He had been traveling from Dubai after a day’s stopover from South Africa when the plane was met at JFK Airport by a fleet of emergency service vehicles.

Like all good 21st century celebrities Vanilla Ice’s first reaction was to take to Twitter and tell his people what was happening.

“So I just landed in New York coming back from Dubai and now I’m stuck on the runway with like 1000 police, ambulances, fire trucks, this is crazy,” he tweeted.

His claim of 1,000 police was somewhat over the top – but that didn’t stop it receiving hundreds of likes.

Of course, this didn’t stop him, and moments later he was back on Twitter with an update, reassuring us of his wellbeing.

“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.”

Obviously concerned for the passengers down below in standard, he then whipped out his phone to produce a viral video which he also tweeted from the comfort of his flatbed chair.

Adding the comment: “So I just landed from Dubai and now there is like tons of ambulances and fire trucks and police all over the place”

Vanilla Ice rose to fame with his hit single “Ice Ice Baby. He later disappeared from pop stardom, but made a comeback with his own DIY show “The Vanilla Ice Project.”

At the peak of his music career he dated the Queen of Pop Madonna, but the couple split up in 1992.

It is not clear why he spent the day in Dubai, but in an earlier tweet he said it was the longest he’d ever flown for.

“Most flying I’ve ever done in my whole life, 29 hours in the air to South Africa and over to Dubai for one day then back home ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ exhausted,” – which seems odd, given he was once embarking on world tours.

An Emirates airline spokeswoman said 10 passengers fell ill on the flight from Dubai to New York. New York media outlets – and Vanilla Ice - had earlier put the number at about 100 passengers.

“Emirates can confirm that about 10 passengers on board flight EK203 from Dubai to New York were taken ill,” the spokeswoman said. “On arrival at JFK, as a precaution, they were immediately checked by local health authorities and those needing medical attention will be attended to.”

A later statement from the airline said three passengers and seven crew were transferred to hospital for medical care and that all passengers had disembarked from the aircraft.

Eric Phillips, spokesman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, said it appeared that some of the ill passengers had come from Mecca, which is experiencing a flu outbreak.

“Health officials are processing tests now to determine the cause. Symptoms still pointing to the flu,” he tweeted.

Later it was revealed the cause of the illness was “probably influenza,” New York City acting Health Commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot said.

He said tests had been taken by officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and most of the passengers were cleared to continue their travels.

In a statement, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said that Emirates flight 203 landed at 9:12 a.m. “with a report of multiple sick passengers.”

“The plane was taken to a location away from the terminal so that medical personnel from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could board the aircraft to evaluate the situation and provide immediate assistance,” it added.

The plane’s return journey to Dubai was delayed by three hours.

Now let's remind ourselves of what he was best known for so Stop.... Collaborate... And listen:


Solid gold toilet stolen from English stately home

Updated 14 September 2019

Solid gold toilet stolen from English stately home

  • Toilet was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and estimated to be worth around £1 million
  • A 66-year-old man was arrested following the burglary at Blenheim Palace

LONDON: A gang of thieves on Saturday stole an 18-carat gold toilet from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, police said, causing flooding that damaged the world-famous stately home.
The fully-functioning toilet, dubbed “America,” was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and estimated to be worth around £1 million.
A 66-year-old man was arrested following the burglary, which took place before dawn at the 18th-century estate near Oxford, southern England.
The toilet was one of the star attractions in an exhibition of Cattelan’s works that opened on Thursday at the palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visitors were able to book time slots to use it — but only for three minutes each, to limit the queues.
More than 100,000 people used the loo during the year it was on display at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
“The offenders broke into the palace overnight and left the scene at about 4.50am (0350 GMT). No-one was injured during the burglary,” police said in a statement.
Detective Inspector Jess Milne of Thames Valley Police said she believed “a group of offenders used at least two vehicles” — and left a mess behind them.
“The piece of art that has been stolen is a high-value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace,” she said.
“Due to the toilet being plumbed into the building, this has caused significant damage and flooding.”
Blenheim Palace said it was “saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no-one was hurt.”
It closed on Saturday but said it would reopen on Sunday.

The palace is home to the 12th duke of Marlborough and his family, and was also the birthplace of British wartime leader Winston Churchill.
The duke’s brother, Edward Spencer-Churchill, who founded the Blenheim Art Foundation, said last month he was relaxed about security around the gold toilet.
“It’s not going to be the easiest thing to nick,” he told The Times newspaper.
“Firstly, it’s plumbed in and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate. So no, I don’t plan to be guarding it.”
He added: “Despite being born with a silver spoon in my mouth I have never had a shit on a golden toilet, so I look forward to it.”
Cattelan, who is known for his provocative art, has previously described the golden toilet as “one-percent art for the 99 percent.”
The Guggenheim had offered the loo on loan to US President Donald Trump, but he declined.
The Italian artist’s exhibition at Blenheim runs until October 27 and includes a taxidermied horse hoisted onto the ceiling of an ornate reception room.
Blenheim has previously hosted exhibitions of work by Ai WeiWei, Yves Klein, Jenny Holzer, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Lawrence Weiner.
Police said they were looking at CCTV footage to help them in the search for the gold toilet, adding that nothing else was believed to have been stolen.