Belfast Telegraph

Bangor family fled burning jet on Egyptian runway

By Brett Campbell

A Co Down father who dislocated his elbow while fleeing a smoke-filled plane with his wife and 10-year-old son has described the "chaos" that unfolded on a Thomas Cook flight from Egypt.

Trevor Kane (32) from Bangor was on board Flight MT519 to London Gatwick after spending a nightmarish fortnight in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada.

He was forced to evacuate with 251 other passengers and nine crew when smoke began filling the cabin following a loud explosion seconds before take-off.

"There was a bang a few rows behind us and then all you could smell was burning metal," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"Within seconds the entire plane had filled with smoke. I couldn't see much, but passengers had already been instructed to open the emergency doors.

"My first thought was terrorism, and for all we knew the plane was about to blow up, I was waiting on a flash."

The family man was infuriated when other passengers, trying to get their hand luggage from overhead cabins, blocked off the aisles as people were desperate to escape the plane.

"I couldn't believe it because my main concern was getting my wife and son off," he explained.

"I started screaming at people to just get off and I dislocated my elbow going down the slide, those things are made for the water, not a hard runway."

Thomas Cook described the incident as a "controlled evacuation", but Mr Kane claimed the holiday company's description was inaccurate.

"There was nothing controlled about it," he claimed.

"If it had have been two or three minutes later we would have been in the air - it could have been a disaster."

Mr Kane, his wife June (29) and son Lewis had already had a disastrous holiday before the drama unfolded on Tuesday.

After spending five days in bed after taking sick, the family ventured out and enjoyed a day on the beach, optimistic that their fortunes had changed.

Then, within 24 hours, terrorists stabbed six female tourists on the same beach they had been on the day before, killing two German holidaymakers.

"We were obviously fine, but it did ruin the atmosphere and put us off going back to the beach, it was traumatising," he said.

Mr Kane said that he was also left in a state of disbelief as his family ended up stranded on the runway as another plane approached for landing.

"People started using the flash on their phones to alert the pilot that we were on the runway," he said.

"You couldn't make it up."

by brett campbell

Belfast Telegraph

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