Cabin smoke triggers emergency evacuation of Ryanair flight in Kerry


SOME 160 passengers had to be evacuated through emergency chutes from a Ryanair flight which landed at Kerry airport yesterday after smoke was detected in the cockpit and cabin.

The FR701 London Stansted to Kerry flight had landed and was taxiing when the incident occurred at 9.12am. No fire was seen but passengers and the pilot reported smelling fumes and some passengers reported seeing smoke in the cabin.

The Air Accident Investigation Unit of the Department of Transport last night said it was keeping an “open mind” on whether the smoke originated from within the aircraft, or from outside the aircraft on landing.

A unit inspector said it regarded the incident as serious because smoke was detected and passengers had to be evacuated from the near-full aircraft.

The incident was not at the most serious level and the alert call was a “pan” urgency call rather than a Mayday emergency.

Two investigation unit inspectors were on their way to Kerry yesterday evening to initiate a technical examination of the Boeing 737 800 aircraft. Ryanair engineers were also examining it.

Ryanair, in a statement, said the evacuation was precautionary and was “not” an emergency landing, adding that the aircraft had landed safely before smoke was detected. Passengers were evacuated safely in accordance with procedures.

HSE personnel said two female passengers were treated for minor injuries, apparently sustained during the evacuation. They did not need to be taken to hospital.

One passenger said there was a thin layer of smoke in the cabin after landing which smelled of burned rubber.

A statement from Kerry airport said the aircraft was taxiing when the captain smelled fumes, stopped the jet, informed the airport and advised passengers of an emergency evacuation. The airport initiated its emergency procedures involving the local fire service, gardaí and the ambulance centre.