EL AL plane makes emergency evacuation

Sunday, March 25, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
EL AL passengers en route to Zurich, evacuated the plane on Sunday through the emergency slides when the aircraft began to smoke.

Just minutes before take-off, smoke began to pour out of the aircraft’s cockpit, which was a result of a cleaning routine last week. Traces of fluid remaining in the motor forced EL AL’s 126 passengers and six crew members to evacuate the plane.

The pilot stopped the plane, the emergency slides quickly opened and everyone on board exited safely. Army Radio reported no injuries, but separate report said five people were treated for injuries.

The aircraft reportedly sustained considerable damage from the smoke.

Immediately after the incident, the airport was placed under high alert but was soon cancelled. Everything continues to operate as normal at Ben-Gurion airport.

An EL AL official told Army Radio that the airline was retrieving passengers’ luggage and that the travelers were waiting to board another plane to their destination.

“This is highly unusual,” the official said. An EL AL flight has not been forced to use emergency slides in five years.

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