Fire in FlyBe plane engine forces emergency at Belfast airport

16 December 2014 (Last Updated December 16th, 2014 18:30)

Northern Ireland's Belfast International Airport declared an emergency after the engine of a FlyBe plane headed for Belfast City Airport from Glasgow caught fire.

Northern Ireland's Belfast International Airport declared an emergency after the engine of a FlyBe plane headed for Belfast City Airport from Glasgow caught fire.

FlyBe later confirmed the incident and said that the flight had been diverted due to a small engine fire, which was extinguished before landing.

A total of 76 passengers were travelling on the plane and everyone was taken off the plane safely. One of the passengers was sent to a hospital as a precaution.

"The crew were doing their best to calm everybody down, but people weren't really sure what was happening."

The Guardian quoted Owen Glenn as saying that the fireball lit up the entire side of the plane.

"There were sparks coming out, so they shut down that engine," Glenn said.

"We were running on one engine after that. People were getting a little panicked. The crew were doing their best to calm everybody down, but people weren't really sure what was happening."

Community and peace activist Quintin Oliver was quoted by The Guardian as saying that passengers had to jump 6ft from the plane as it had no emergency steps to the ground.

"It's a short, 20min to 25min flight, and there was a visible shudder throughout the plane and those on the left-hand side behind the engine clearly saw it burst into flames," Oliver said.

In a statement about the Belfast emergency, Flybe said: "The emergency services attended as a routine and precautionary measure. At no time was the safety and well-being of passengers compromised."

Most of the passengers were taken to Belfast City Airport by bus. However, 20 passengers had to stay back at the airport more than 3h after the emergency landing, as their luggage was still on the plane.