A transatlantic jet has made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport this afternoon after the crew reported a suspected fuel leak.
United Airlines flight UA-928 was travelling from Heathrow Airport in London to Chicago in the US at the time. The Boeing 767-300(ER) jet, was about 900 kilometres north west of Shannon when the crew turned around. It’s understood there were 157 passengers and a crew of 10 on board.
The flight departed Heathrow at around 1.25pm and about two hours later, the flight crew contacted air traffic controllers in Ireland to notify them of their problem and to request clearance to divert to Shannon. The flight crew advised controllers that they had a fuel leak in the upper side of the jet’s left wing.
Controllers initiated a response that involved notifying airport authorities, the HSE, National Ambulance Service, local authority fire service and An Garda Síochána.
Units of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service from Shannon and Ennis stations were dispatched to support the airport’s own fire and rescue service. The National Ambulance Services mobilised a number of resources including ambulances and a rapid response advanced paramedic unit while Gardaí also responded to the airport.
Airport and local authority fire crews took up positions on taxiways adjacent to the runway ahead of the flight’s arrival. The jet landed safely at 4.39pm and was pursued along the runway by fire crews who also remained with the jet until it was parked at the terminal.
An inspection of the runway was carried to check whether there had been any contamination following the landing however it’s understood none was found.
Engineers were also standing by to meet the aircraft to assess whether the issue could be resolved. If the problem cannot be fixed, the jet is expect to be grounded and the flight cancelled.
A spokesperson for United Airlines said: “Our team at Shannon Airport is providing assistance to customers of United flight 928 (London Heathrow – Chicago O’Hare) today, which diverted to Shannon Airport to address a technical issue. We are making arrangements for our customers to complete their journeys as soon as possible.”