Flight moves on after emergency landing in Cork
Chartered aircraft carrying 154 passengers and crew from Belfast to Spain was leaking fuel
The pilot of the chartered Boeing 737-300 (above) was forced to make an emergency landing at Cork Airport following a suspected fuel leak. Photograph: Darren Forde
The Air Contractors chartered flight from Belfast to Reus near Barcelona had to make an emergency landing at Cork after the pilot suspected the plane was leaking fuel.
The plane with 150 passengers and five crew on board circled Cork city three times as the airport authorities and gardaí activated a major emergency plan for the airport.
Six Cork City Fire Brigade tenders attended at the airport as did airport fire services and a fleet of HSE South ambulances.
Gardaí closed off access to the airport and kept key junctions traffic free in anticipation of casualties having to be ferried quickly by ambulance to Cork University Hospital.
However, the pilot succeeded in landing the plane safely and airport fire crew examined the aircraft and established that there was no fuel leak from the Boeing 737.
The aircraft taxied to the stand where passengers disembarked normally using stairs and entered the terminal before being put up in local hotels for thenight.
Engineers examined the plane this morning and confirmed the problem was caused by faulty instrument in the cockpit which they repaired to make the plane serviceable again.
A replacement crew took over and the flight departed from Cork Airport at about 2.30pm today to resume its journey to Reus with all 150 passengers back on board.
Air Contractors said in a statement that the flight crew had followed procedure to divert and land immediately as safety is always the utmost priority for the airline.