Fire on aircraft forces Irish airport to suspend flights
Dublin, Aug 15: Flights were suspended at Shannon Airport in western Ireland for several hours on Thursday after fire broke out on the undercarriage of an aircraft on the runway, an airport spokesman said.
The Boeing aircraft is owned by Omni Air International, a US charter carrier that specialises in military and government transport flights. The airport resumed flights a few hours later, with delays expected to continue for the rest of Thursday.
"Airport emergency services are currently on the scene and earlier extinguished an external fire to the undercarriage," a spokesman for the Shannon Group said in a statement as the incident unfolded.
"All passengers and crew have disembarked safely and are currently in the terminal building." Images from the scene on social media showed the plane surrounded by numerous fire engines.
"The Omni Boeing 767-300 aircraft rejected takeoff and was safely evacuated," Omni Air said on Twitter.
"Initial reports indicate no serious injuries to passengers or crew." Shannon Airport declined to say whether the plane was transporting troops. Omni Air International did not respond to a request for clarification, whilst the US Department of Defense said it did not presently have information on the matter when contacted by AFP.
The Shannon hub is controversial in Ireland for facilitating the movement of US troops, providing logistical support to operations abroad. According to the Irish government, 24,500 US troops passed through the airport between January and March of this year.