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Flights resume at Shannon Airport after five-hour suspension due to emergency incident

All passengers and crew have disembarked the plane safely.

LAST UPDATE | 15 Aug 2019

PastedImage-29501 The plane on the tarmac at Shannon Airport this morning. Charles Pereira Charles Pereira

FLIGHTS AT SHANNON Airport have resumed after a plane that was attended to by emergency services has now been cleared from the runway.

The situation began at 6 am this morning and related to an Omni Air International jet Boeing 767-300 which was stopped before it took off. 

All flights were suspended and remained so until 11.15 am when the airport reopened. 

There were 145 passengers and a crew of 14 on board the aircraft.

The incident began when air traffic controllers noticed smoke coming from the jet’s right side landing gear as it taxied along the runway.

Omni Air International is a civilian airline that transports personnel for the United State’s military.

It was first thought that the smoke was coming from the braking system so the flight crew decided to stop on the runway and request a tug tow the jet back to its parking stand.

Soon afterwards, air traffic controllers called the flight crew again and instructed them to evacuate their aircraft as a fire could now been seen in the left side landing gear.

The crew brought their aircraft to a stop on the runway while passengers and crew quickly left the jet via two emergency slides on the right side of the plane.

In the meantime airport fire crews were scrambled to deal with the incident and quickly extinguished the fire. 

The Air Accident Investigation Unit of the Department of Transport confirmed what had taken place and said that aircraft was “evacuated on the runway following a reported fire in a main-wheel well”.

Shannon Airport has confirmed that all passengers disembarked the aircraft but flights were disrupoted for a number of hours afterwards. 

The Shannon Group has said there was was a “swift response from the Shannon Airport emergency services team”, allowing the airport to reopen when it did.  

A number of flights were cancelled during the closure, including Aer Lingus flights to Heathrow, Birmingham and Edinburgh. 

“As there has been flight disruption, intending passengers have been asked to contact their airlines. Updates are available on the airport social media channels,” the Shannon Group said in a statement.

Omni Air International said that takeoff was aborted and the place safely evacuated.

“Initial reports indicate no serious injuries to passengers or crew. Our primary concern at this time is for their safety. We are participating in the investigation of this incident,” the airline said.  

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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