Wednesday 23 October 2019

Passenger tells of 'big bang' in aborted take-off as Stansted suspends flights

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Thomas Hornall

A passenger has described hearing a "big bang" as his departing flight "skidded to a stop" at Stansted Airport.

Thomas Steer was on a Vienna-bound Laudamotion flight which suffered a "scary" aborted take-off shortly after 8pm on Friday.

The estate agent, 24, from Essex, said it had been accelerating for around 15 seconds before there was a "big bang on the side of the aircraft which skidded to a stop".

He said: "It was scary. And then staff shouting 'evacuate evacuate'.

"My friend opened the emergency exit and we slid down the slides, a few old people fell over and the fire brigade treated them.

"No-one was seriously injured just minor things."

An airport spokesman said it had received reports that eight people suffered minor injuries in the incident.

Stansted tweeted: "Flights at @STN_Airport are currently suspended due to an aircraft on the runway following an aborted take off due to a suspected engine problem.

"We will post further updates as soon as they become available. Thank you."

The airport added: "Emergency service attended and all passengers were evacuated from the aircraft as a precaution and have now been taken back to the terminal."

Images posted to social media by delayed passengers showed several people standing on grass by the runway as emergency service crews and flashing lights surrounded the plane.

Flights to Stansted were being diverted to other airports.

Stansted later tweeted: "The aircraft has now been removed from the runway and a full inspection is underway. All flights will resume as soon as it is safe to do so. The safety of our passengers is always our top priority and we're working closely with our airlines to ensure affected passengers are looked after."

Laudamotion later tweeted: "The crew of OE flight from Stansted to Vienna(1.3.) decided to abort the take off due to engine issues and to disembark the passengers on the runway as a precautionary measure. Passengers were transferred to the terminal by bus and will be reaccommodated onto a replacement flight."

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