Smoke-filled British Airways plane makes emergency landing in Valencia

Nineteen people were injured when one of the engines of the Airbus A321 caught fire on the flight from London

Footage from one of the passengers of the forced landing.Video: Dani Meroño
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Nineteen people sustained minor injuries when a British Airways plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Manises airport in the eastern Spanish region of Valencia on Monday, according to sources from the government delegation in Valencia and the regional emergency center. The Airbus A321 made the forced landing after fire was detected in one of the plane’s engines. One passenger claimed the plane continued flying for 10 minutes with smoke in the cabin.

A total of 175 passengers were on board the British Airways flight, including one baby, according to the information provided by Spain’s airport authority Aena. The plane, which was flying from London to Valencia, landed around 6:45pm, a few minutes before the scheduled arrival time.

Three people were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, and 16 others were treated at the airport for scrapes and anxiety attacks, explained sources from the government delegation in Valencia.

We tried to leave but nothing works!!! We are trapped but they are going to open the door!! We have arrived in Manises

The regional emergency center was informed on Monday afternoon that fire had been detected in one of the plane’s engines as it was preparing to land, but by the time firefighters arrived there was only smoke. Aena stated that emergency services were sent to assist as soon as the pilot of the plane told the control tower: “engine on fire.”

Once the plane landed, the emergency doors were opened and the passengers were evacuated.

According to the regional emergency center, the airport did not activate the emergency phase but air traffic was diverted for 25 minutes, and later reestablished.

Several passengers, including Lucy Brown and Dani Meroño, complained on social media that no one from British Airways said anything about the incident or explained how to evacuate.

“Returning to plane to pick up our belongings three hours after we were evacuated. No word from British Airways about what happened,” Brown wrote in a message on Twitter.

Other passengers claimed their oxygen masks did not drop down, meaning they could not use them, despite the efforts of the flight attendants.

English version by Melissa Kitson.


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