15 injured as plane makes emergency Gatwick landing after fire fills cabin with smoke

Posted: April 17, 2012 in Aviation & Airports (General News), Gatwick
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A blaze on board a packed jet forced an emergency landing at Gatwick yesterday.

The 299 passengers and 13 crew on board were evacuated using escape slides in a drama that closed the airport for several hours. Fifteen required hospital attention, many with suspected broken bones. Scores of other flights had to be suspended, delaying thousands of passengers

Flights in and out of Gatwick were suspended for nearly two hours after the incident, which left 15 passengers with minor injuries

Flights in and out of Gatwick were suspended for nearly two hours after the incident, which left 15 passengers with minor injuries

  • Fifteen injured as fire extinguishers used to tackle blaze at rear of aircraft
  • Virgin Airbus A330 bound for Florida had to return due to ‘technical problem’
  • Flights in and out of Gatwick suspended as passengers escape aircraft
  • Incoming flights have been diverted, with some landing at Stansted
  • Virgin owner Sir Richard Branson tweets his apologies to those on board

The Airbus A330 turned back just 15 minutes into its flight to Orlando in Florida as smoke began to fill the cabin. Some passengers accused the staff of panicking as the aircraft landed and its emergency chutes were deployed.

Liam Moore, a passenger, said everybody was ‘really shaken up’.

‘Everything seemed fine,’ he said. ‘Then the pilot came on the tannoy just a few minutes into the flight and said we would have to do an emergency landing. It all happened so quickly. We landed and suddenly all the doors flung open and the emergency slides were inflated.

‘We then had to slide down the chutes, some people got cuts and grazes from the slide.

‘Police cars were flying up the runway. There were four fire engines, paramedics, a helicopter.’

Fire crews used powerful extinguishers to douse the flames as the Airbus stood on the runway. All flights at Gatwick were suspended, leaving thousands stranded and facing an afternoon of delays. The airport had been due to deal with 600 flights during the day.

Passenger Tom Alridge said one of the cabin crew panicked after the  plane touched down: ‘She was screaming like a banshee – “Get off, get off” – she was literally pushing people down the chute,’ he said.

‘Someone has a broken ankle, another guy hit his head when he went down the chute.’

Another passenger, Mark Bell, from Bracknell, told the BBC: ‘I knew something was wrong when we took off. The plane was really wobbly.

‘The cabin crew made things worse. They were all really panicked. We weren’t told anything other than we had to go back to Gatwick and make an emergency landing.

‘We circled the airport twice before the landing. We were told to evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.’…..

Read the full story at The Daily Mail….

17 April 2012


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