Around eight people were injured after a nerve-racking explosion struck the wings of an aircraft that was just about to take off from the Stansted runway. The incident led to many of the flights from the airport being grounded for hours.
The flight, which was headed to Vienna, caught fire and came to a screeching halt just as it was getting ready to leave the runway. The incident led to the closure of the runway, a decision made by the airport officials to prevent any further mishap. The closure caused several delays and operations returned to normal only after a few hours.
Passenger’s describe the incident
According to one passenger on the affected flight, the explosion had taken place on one of the wings. Fortunately, the aircraft hadn’t yet taken off, which allowed the pilot to come to a halt. Passengers were then evacuated via the emergency slides.
Another passenger named Thomas Steer stated that there was horror and chaos as people were scrambling to make an exit from the burning aircraft. According to Steer, the explosion took place about 15 seconds after the aircraft had already started accelerating. The sudden stoppage of the plane due to the explosion caused it to go into a skid. Steer described the moment as being terrifying.
It is believed that Steer’s friend opened the emergency exit as soon as he heard the crew shouting “evacuate”. After the emergency exit was opened, Steer and his friend slid down the slides along with other passengers. Some of the older passengers had fallen over and injured themselves. Luckily, the fire brigade was present to offer first aid.
Stansted Airport immediately took to Twitter to provide updates on the situation. The airport mentioned that flights were grounded as a result of the mishap and that, fortunately, no one was grievously injured.
Investigations are underway
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch is now investigating the incident. A spokesperson for Stansted Airport told the media that a total of only eight people were injured.
One Twitter post mentioned that the aircraft was an Airbus A320. It is also believed that the runway was shut for 3 hours. After that the runway was finally opened at 11 PM; Stansted Airport immediately posted about it on Twitter to update flyers.
The airport also issued an apology, saying that it was extremely sorry for the disruption. However, it emphasised that the safety of passengers was of the utmost importance and the airport’s number one priority.
The aircraft was eventually taken off the runway. As of now, it is being inspected and examined.
Laudamotion, the concerned carrier, also posted a tweet stating that the crew of the flight made the decision to abort take-off due to engine issues and that passengers were asked to disembark as a precautionary measure.
The passengers were reportedly transferred from one terminal to the other by a bus. Eventually, They were all booked on to a replacement flight.
RyanAir, the parent company for Laudamotion, which is the operator in question, was contacted by the media for comments. However, the company hasn’t responded yet.