An American Airlines flight was evacuated after a sick man broke wind so violently it caused nausea and headaches among his fellow passengers, according to a US airport official. The aeroplane had landed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), North Carolina, on 16 July at around 4pm when the man "passed gas" in the words of the official.

The resulting smell was so noxious that fellow passengers became ill and were rushed off the flight, according the RDU employee, who spoke with CBS South Carolina. The plane was not identified though it is understood to have been scheduled to land at RDU rather than being diverted as a result of the potent gust.

The airport later clarified that there had been a "medical issue" and that Wake County Emergency Medical Services had assumed responsibility of the situation.

The lack of further information left a number of questions unanswered, including whether the man had boarded the plane in an unwell state or if he became "gassy" mid-flight.

American Airlines could not confirm the incident. In a statement, an official said that a plane at RDU had been taken out of service due to a bad odour but denied that this was a consequence of "passed gas".

They said: "We did have an aircraft from Charlotte to RDU this afternoon, that landed at 2:19 p.m. ET, and arrived the gate at 2:21 p.m. ET, that is currently out of service for an actual mechanical issue – and odour in the cabin. But It is not due to 'passed gas' as mentioned."

The times referred to in this statement do not coincide with those made by the RDU official, only compounding the confusion surrounding the alleged trump.

Last month, the lifeless body of a woman from Texas was allegedly dragged through the aisle of an American Airlines flight in front of other passengers.