Jet diverts to Shannon with suspected fire on board

Jet diverts to Shannon with suspected fire on board


File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2018

A transatlantic passenger jet has made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport this evening after the crew reported a suspected fire on board.

British Airways flight BA-179 was en route from London’s Heathrow Airport to New York at the time.

Shortly after 7.30pm, while the Boeing 777-300 jet was north of Enniscrone in Sligo, the crew declared an emergency and advised air traffic controllers that they wished to divert to Shannon Airport.

The pilots also advised controllers that they would require to dump aviation fuel while routing towards Shannon. The crew confirmed they had received an alarm in the cockpit indicating they was a fire in the rear of the aircraft.

The crew jettisoned fuel while making their way to Shannon and then entered a holding pattern north of the airport for a short time so they could go through their checklists.

The flight landed safely at 7.41pm and was met on arrival by airport fire and rescue crews. Firefighters carried out an external visual inspection of the aircraft to check for any evidence of fire.

Once it was confirmed that fire crews could see no sign of fire, the aircraft exited the runway and stopped on a taxiway so that fire personnel could carry out a further inspection of the fuselage using thermal imaging cameras. Once this had been completed, the jet taxied to the terminal building where it was met by airport authorities, ground crews and engineers.

Fire crews remained with the aircraft for a time however it’s understood the fire indication was a false alarm.

According to passengers, an acrid smell was detected in the rear cabin. It’s believed that one or more ovens in the rear galley began to smoke.

The crew disconnect electrical power to the rear galley in an effort to isolate the problem.

This evening’s diversion was the second emergency at Shannon Airport today.

File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016

This morning, a Delta Air lines flight from the U.S. to London made an emergency medical diversion to Shannon. Flight DL-32 was travelling from Atlanta in the U.S. state of Georgia to London’s Heathrow Airport at the time.

The Airbus A330-200 jet was about two hours west of Shannon when the crew informed air traffic controllers that they wished to divert to seek medical attention for a passenger.

The flight landed safely at 9.39am and was met at the terminal by airport staff, ground crews and National Ambulance Service paramedics. The passenger was removed to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

The flight resumed its journey to Heathrow at 11.20am.

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.