Photo credit: Fiona Marr
Leeds, UK - October 20, 2023
Leeds Bradford Airport was temporarily closed today following a harrowing incident that sent shockwaves through the aviation community. A commercial passenger plane skidded off the runway during its landing, prompting immediate emergency response efforts and the suspension of airport operations.
The incident occurred at approximately 8:30 AM local time when flight 472, a Boeing 737-800 operated by a major international airline, attempted to land at Leeds Bradford Airport. As the aircraft touched down on the wet runway, the pilot reportedly encountered difficulties in maintaining control. Witnesses described a dramatic scene as the plane veered off the runway, coming to a stop on the airport's grassy shoulder.
Airport staff and emergency services responded swiftly, evacuating all passengers and crew from the aircraft, and attending to those who may have sustained minor injuries during the evacuation. Thankfully, initial reports indicate no serious injuries among the 147 passengers and crew on board.
Local authorities and aviation safety agencies have launched a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the incident.
Preliminary reports suggest that heavy rainfall in the hours leading up to the landing may have contributed to the runway's slippery conditions. However, experts are closely examining all possible factors, including aircraft mechanical issues and human error.
The closure of Leeds Bradford Airport has caused significant disruptions to air travel, with incoming flights being diverted to nearby airports, and outgoing flights experiencing delays or cancellations. Passengers have been advised to check with their respective airlines for updates and alternative travel arrangements.
Airport spokesperson, Sarah Turner, stated, "The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew are our top priorities. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this incident, and we are working diligently to reopen the airport as soon as it is deemed safe to do so."
As investigators work to piece together the events leading to this unsettling incident, questions regarding runway maintenance, weather-related precautions, and pilot training will be scrutinized.
For now, passengers and the aviation community await the results of the official investigation, hoping to shed light on what caused this plane to skid off the runway at Leeds Bradford Airport.