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Passengers adopt crash position as jet diverted

PASSENGERS on board an Aer Lingus flight to the Canary Islands were diverted to northern spain when the plane encountered technical difficulties.

The flight en-route from Dublin made an emergency landing at Santiago de Compostela Airport yesterday.

The 127 passengers on board were warned to adopt crash positions as it approached the landing strip and were told they may have to make a quick evacuation once it touched down.

Dubliner Frank Cullen, of Clonliffe Road, said: "We were around half way through the flight when the captain came on and said that there was a technical problem with the plane and that we would be diverting to a different airport.

"There was no obvious problem that we could sense, everything seemed okay, so there was a bit of nervousness but people were calm.

"But then when we were approaching the Spanish airport, we were told we would have to put our heads between our knees, and that if we are asked to leave the plane quickly we would have to, so that caused a few tears.

"I was flying to Fuerteventura with my wife mary to celebrate my 65th birthday tomorrow, and I was thinking 'I can't miss this birthday'."

A spokesman for Aer Lingus confirmed the flight landed safely at around 4pm.

He said: "Passengers were accommodated in a hotel overnight and the 152 people waiting for the return flight from Fuerteventura to Dublin were also given rooms and are expected home today.

"In the end, we landed safely and emergency services were there. We heard afterwards that it was a fairly serious problem with the hydraulics."