July 27, 2004
runway at taxiway HB and halted on Block
141 heading SE
A SERIES of safety measures are
being put forward today after it was revealed
passengers escaping from a burning plane walked out
onto the wing which was on fire. A report by the Department of Transport's Air
Accident Investigation Branch AAIB has now been
published into the incident which took place at
Stansted Airport on February 27, 2002. The right-hand engine of the Ryanair Boeing 737 caught fire as it sat on the
tarmac after landing.
The accident investigation report says that of the
117 passengers, 40 evacuated the plane on the
right-hand side and six opened the emergency exit
above the right wing and walked out – only to be
sent back inside by firefighters trying to tackle
the engine blaze. The report states: "About 40
passengers evacuated onto the right side of the
aircraft, including six onto the right wing. This
placed them in the vicinity of the right engine and
the area where the fire crews were directing their
firefighting efforts. These six passengers were
instructed by the fire crew to return inside the
aircraft and seek an alternative exit."
"It is understandable that the passengers did
operate these exits since they could not be expected
to be as aware of the safety issues, nor to exercise
the same discretion as trained cabin crew.
"Four passengers were treated for minor injuries
received during the evacuation."
Prior 737-236 fire (G-BGJL at Manchester
Air port UK on 22 Aug 85 (link)
The evacuation was ordered after
ground crew spotted smoke from the engine, alerted
the control tower who informed the cabin crew and
raised the alarm with the airports fire fighters.
Safety recommendations made in the report include:
the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should review the
instructions to fire officers, when attending an
aircraft fire, to ensure that they tell the flight
crew the best route for evacuation.
The report also said airport operators provide
suitable video recording facilities at airports
operating public transport flights in order to
preserve best evidence in the event of an accident
And that the Irish Aviation Authority review cabin
crew training in respect of the operation of all
normal and emergency exits, to ensure that crew
members are familiar with the different operating
procedures. xamination of the engine showed the fire was caused
by the failure of an bearing which led to oil being
released into the hot gas path of the jet.
Were you a passenger involved in this incident or
have you been involved in a similar safety scare?
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