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Passengers are evacuated after smoke fills plane's cabin

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George Best Belfast City Airport

George Best Belfast City Airport

George Best Belfast City Airport

Shocked passengers had to be evacuated onto the tarmac at George Best Belfast City Airport yesterday after smoke poured into the cabin of a FlyBe aircraft preparing to depart for Liverpool.

A number of emergency appliances responded to the incident at the airport just before 2pm yesterday.

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said that it responded to an incident on the runway at the airport.

In a statement last night, the airline said: "FlyBe can confirm that all 74 passengers on board the flight rapidly and safely disembarked from the flight prior to push back following a smoke indication warning from the aircraft's auxiliary power generator.

"The airport put its emergency vehicles on standby as a precautionary measure and the airline can confirm, following engineering inspection, there was no confirmed indication of fire.

"All passengers were accommodated on an alternative aircraft departing with a 1 hour 50 minute delay to their original departure time.

"FlyBe apologises to its passengers for the inconvenience however the safety of its passengers and crew is the airline's number one priority at all times."

The incident comes just days after FlyBe flights from Belfast to London City Airport were disrupted after the Thames-side airport was evacuated following what was described as a "chemical incident".

And in August, Belfast City Airport emergency services were scrambled after a FlyBe flight reported a suspected technical issue affecting a Belfast-bound flight.

Earlier this week it was revealed that FlyBe has parted company with its chief executive Saad Hammad by "mutual agreement".

The airline said that chairman Simon Laffin will assume the role until a new chief executive is appointed.

Belfast Telegraph