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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Barrow passenger describes panic in stricken holiday plane

A BARROW holidaymaker has told how he was among passengers forced to flee down emergency chutes at Blackpool Airport when smoke poured from their stricken plane.

drama Passengers escape down chutes from the stricken Jet2 plane after smoke poured from the aircraft as it landed on the runway at Blackpool Airport

Fire crews raced to the runway when air traffic control staff spotted smoke coming from Jet2 flight LS740 from Alicante at 1.30pm yesterday.

The 139 passengers, including crying children, 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 down 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.

Mr Dance, from Barrow, 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 took me 24 years to get on a plane after a bad flight. This was only my second time in 24 years – it might be another 24 before I fly again.”

It was several hours before passengers were able to get their bags off the plane and go home, leaving concerned friends and relatives waiting in the arrival lounge.

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 under way.”

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