Five hospitalised after holiday jet diverted to Shannon

Five hospitalised after holiday jet diverted to Shannon

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

Five people were taken to hospital after a holiday jet was forced to turn around over the Atlantic and divert to Shannon Airport this evening after the crew reported smoke in the cockpit.

At the time, Condor flight DE-2116 was travelling from Frankfurt, Germany to Cancun in Mexico with 337 passengers and crew on board. Condor is a German based subsidiary of the Thomas Cook Group and is one of Europe’s leading leisure airlines.

The aircraft overflew Ireland at around 3.40pm and was about two hours west of the country when the crew issued a May-Day radio distress call and made a U-turn. It’s understood the crew reported they had detected smoke in the cockpit and requested clearance to turn around and divert to Shannon.

The flight had departed Frankfurt in Germany at around 1.50pm and was over three hours into its journey when smoke was detected and reported. The crew said they wished to divert to Shannon and requested emergency services to be on standby.

On the ground, airport authorities implemented Shannon Airport’s emergency plan which also involved alerting the National Ambulance Service, local authority fire service and An Garda.

Three units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service were dispatched to the airport from Shannon Town. Additional units from Ennis were also mobilised to the airport.

The National Ambulance Service sent a number of resources including ambulances and advanced paramedic response vehicles.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

As the Airbus A330-200 jet approached the Irish coast the crew dumped aviation fuel over the ocean to ensure they touched down within safe landing-weight limits.

Crash crews took up position at strategic locations adjacent to the runway in advance of the jet’s arrival. The flight landed safely at 7.13pm and was pursued along the runway by crash crews.

The aircraft taxied to the apron close to the terminal building where fire crews used thermal imaging cameras to search for hotspots in the fuselage.

Once an exterior inspection was completed, fire personnel carried out a further investigation inside the aircraft. It’s understood that no evidence of heat or smoke was found

After the inspections were completed, the jet was towed taxi to the terminal where the passengers were disembarked.

The passengers were taken to local hotels overnight while the aircraft was grounded so engineers could work to establish the origin of the smoke.

Paramedics were requested to attend the aircraft after five people complained of feeling unwell. The four cabin crew members and one passenger were taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment for smoke inhalataion.

The flight is expected to resume its journey on Thursday.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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