Emergency declared as plane catches fire at Belfast’s International Airport
An emergency was declared at Belfast International Airport on Tuesday after the engine of a plane went on fire.
The Flybe flight had been travelling from Glasgow to George Best Belfast City Airport but was diverted.
The ambulance service said all 76 passengers and four crew were taken off the plane safely. One person was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Flybe confirmed the flight was diverted due to a small engine fire “which was extinguished before landing”.
Quintin Oliver, who was on the BE130 flight, said one of emergency exits did not have steps so passengers had to jump about six feet onto the runway.
He said that some passengers noticed the fire half-way into the flight.
“It’s a short 20 to 25 minute flight and there was a visible shudder throughout the plane and those on the left hand side behind the engine clearly saw it burst into flames,” he said.
“Some of them described it as a burning rocket, as the flames were shooting out the back and the plane lurched a little, not dramatically, but a little as it presumably stabilised on the second engine.
“There was a lot of apprehension. There was no hysteria. The staff were as reassuring as they could be but they were visibly shaken, as well, which doesn’t exactly command confidence amongst the passengers.”
Owen Glenn, who had also been travelling on the plane, said there had been a “big fireball in one of the engines which lit up the whole side of the plane”.
“There were sparks coming out. So they shut down that engine. We were running on one engine after that,” he said.
“People were getting a little panicked. The crew were doing their best to calm everybody down but people weren’t really sure what was happening.”
Another passenger Billy Pollock said he looked out a window and saw an engine on fire.
“There was some concern, and a lot of people were quite upset but not hysterical,” he said.
“The pilot did a super job, great landing. There was an emergency evacuation.”
Flybe said: “The emergency services attended as a routine and precautionary measure.
“Passengers disembarked the aircraft safely and will be transferred onto Belfast City Airport by road transport.
“At no time was the safety and wellbeing of passengers compromised.”