Fight DL-113 was travelling from Rome, Italy to Boston in the United States. There were 294 passengers and crew on board
By Pat Flynn
A transatlantic flight has been evacuated at Shannon Airport after the jet made an emergency landing there on New Year’s Day morning.
The crew of the Delta Air Lines jet declared an emergency over the Atlantic, south of Ireland, advising air traffic controllers they had fumes emanating from one of the aircraft’s galleys.
Fight DL-113 was travelling from Rome, Italy to Boston in the United States. There were 294 passengers and crew on board.
At around 11.20am, while the almost new Airbus A330-900 jet was about 230 kilometres south of Ireland, the crew declared an initial ‘Pan pan’ emergency. A ‘Pan-pan’ indicates an ‘urgency’ on board but is not as serious as a ‘May day’.
On the ground in Shannon, the airport’s own fire and rescue service was alerted while the National Ambulance Service, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service and An Garda Síochána were also notified and requested to mobilise resources to Shannon.
Several ambulances were dispatched to the airport along with fire crews from Shannon and Ennis stations.
While the aircraft was diverting to Shannon, the flight crew advised air traffic controllers that at least one person on board who was complaining of feeling unwell from the effects of the fumes. The crew told controllers that they would be making an overweight landing and would stop on the runway afterwards.
The flight landed safely at 11.49am and was met on the runway by airport and local authority fire crews. Firefighters carried out an inspection of the jet’s undercarriage to ensure it hadn’t overheated during the emergency landing.
A short time later the aircraft taxied to the terminal still accompanied by fire crews. Airport authorities and ambulance paramedics were standing by for the aircraft at the terminal.
The crew advised controllers that they wished to evacuate everyone from the aircraft as soon as possible to ensure no one else was affected by the fumes.
Mobile stairs were placed at the front and rear of the aircraft and with the help of fire service personnel and paramedics, passengers were safely escorted off the plane. Paramedics also assessed anyone on board who complained of feeling unwell.
The passengers were all escorted into the terminal where paramedics were also waiting to assess any other passengers and crew who required attention.
Several passengers including a young child were assessed by paramedics but none were required to travel to hospital.
Engineers are expected to investigate the source of the fumes before a decision is made on whether the aircraft can continue its journey.