A cup of liquid accidentally spilt onto electronic equipment in the cockpit of a holiday jet caused the smoke that forced the flight to make an emergency landing at Shannon Airport yesterday.
Five people were treated in hospital for smoke inhalation following the incident involving Condor flight DE-2116 which diverted to Shannon.
At the time, the flight was travelling from Frankfurt, Germany to Cancun in Mexico. The aircraft was about 1500 kilometres west of Ireland when the declared an emergency and turned around at around 6.00pm.
The crew reported they had detected smoke in the cockpit and requested clearance to divert to Shannon.
The Airbus A330-200 jet landed safely at 7.13pm and stopped short of the terminal building where fire crews used thermal imaging cameras to search the fuselage for hotspots. 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.
The jet was later towed to the terminal where the passengers were disembarked and taken to local hotels for the night. Four cabin crew members and one passenger were taken to University Hospital Limerick as a precaution for treatment for smoke inhalation.
It has since emerged that the smoke was caused after a cup of liquid was spilt onto an electronic console in the cockpit. Engineers investigated the issue and carried out repairs before the aircraft was cleared to return to service.
However, since the crew would have exceeded their legal duty hours if they had continued to Cancun, the flight left Shannon at 3.45pm today and flew to Manchester where a new crew will take charge of the flight and continue the journey later.
A Condor spokeswoman said: “Flight DE2116 from Frankfurt to Cancun diverted to Shannon airport yesterday as a precautionary measure due to smoke caused by a liquid spillage on electronic devices in the cockpit. The safety and of our customers and crew is always our first priority. The aircraft was fully inspected and repaired by our team of engineers. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused our customers.”