UPDATED: Blackpool Airport plane evacuation drama

Picture via Twitter
Picture via Twitter
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Passengers on a Blackpool-bound flight have been forced to evacuate in a 999 emergency.

Scores of people had to slide down chutes after smoke was reported shortly after it landed at Blackpool Airport at 1.30pm on Friday.

One witness said: “We landed fast and had to put the brakes on hard then there was a lot of smoke”.

Three fire crews attended the plane after being called by pilots who reported smoke was coming from the plane’s brakes.

The 139 passengers were kept on board for several minutes after the flight landed abruptly before they were told to make an emergency exit down the chutes.

Witnesses said some passengers suffered cuts and bruises as they slid off the end of the ramps on to the hard runway.

Flight operator Jet2 has now launched an investigation into the cause of the problem which is believed to have been caused by a suspected hydraulic fluid leak.

Andrew Dance, 52, was returning from holiday when the plane had to make a sudden landing.

Mr Dance, from Barrow, in Cumbria, said: “It was a bit of a bumpy landing. And then we saw smoke coming off the tyre.

“When they said they were evacuating the plane, that’s when the panic started.

“It was quite scary – the chutes came down but one of them wouldn’t open.

“Where I was there was nobody catching people at the bottom so people were just pouring off.

“Quite a few had scratches on their arms and legs. There were a couple of banged heads but we were lucky – it could have been a lot worse.”

Sue Kendrick, corporate affairs manager at Blackpool Airport, said: “As far as I am aware, it was a hydraulic fluid leak in the under carriage and when the aircraft landed it smoked.

“It carried on smoking so to be on the safe side we evacuated. There were a couple of minor injuries.

“Our emergency orders all kicked in and worked absolutely perfectly. It’s good to see in an emergency situation they all worked well.

“I spoke to some passengers afterwards and they seemed fine.”

A Jet2 spokesman said: “The captain was advised to evacuate flight LS740 from Alicante as a precautionary measure after Blackpool Airport air traffic control spotted smoke coming from the brakes on landing.

“All passengers evacuated safely and are being cared for by our team at the airport. A full investigation is now underway.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue confirmed crews were sent to assist emergency response staff based at the Airport.

The runway was closed until around 4.30pm, causing significant delays to flights to Dublin and Palma.

One passenger, who was waiting to board a flight to Palma, said: “Everybody was just a bit confused. We weren’t given much information.”