Delta Airlines flight DAL209 on Friday was forced to make an emergency landing at Prestwick Airport in Scotland after it caught fire shortly after taking off from Edinburgh destined for New York.
The cause of the mid-flight combustion has been attributed to engine problems. Passengers reported hearing a loud bang before the plane was diverted. Still, the aircrew was able to keep everyone calm, according to BBC Scotland News journalist Laura Pettigrew, who was on board the flight.
#Delta Boeing 767-300 (N197DN) flight #DL209 to #NewYork JFK was experienced a fire in engine No 2 (PW4060) shortly after takeoff from #Edinburgh. The engine shut down inflight and crew decided to divert at Prestwick Airport.
— FlightMode (@FlightModeblog) February 10, 2023
Pettigrew said that the captain walked up the length of the plane and made an announcement, but it was inaudible due to the loud noise. However, passengers soon realized that the plane was preparing to land. When the aircraft touched down, firefighters with hoses rushed toward the plane.
The passengers were told to leave all their belongings and get off as quickly as possible. Although there was confusion among some passengers, particularly families with kids, there was no real panic.
An Edinburgh to New York Delta flight has made an emergency landing at Prestwick after flames were seen coming from one of the wings. One passenger’s described “horrendous” noise that “then cut to nothing like the engines had gone”, saying there were gasps and crying. #HeartNews pic.twitter.com/uAmZyU0eq8
— Heart Scotland News (@HeartScotNews) February 10, 2023
Pettigrew said she had not realized how serious the in-air incident was until she reached the terminal with other passengers and heard others discussing what had happened. She said the actions of the Delta crew were “amazing,” adding, “They kept everyone calm, and the pilots seemed to do a smooth job of getting us down safely.”
She added that it was only later that she realized the cabin crew was “apparently preparing for a crash landing.”
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that they were in attendance to assist airport fire crews. The firefighting teams worked to support their partners, and the passengers were safely evacuated from the aircraft.
A spokesperson for the emergency response team said, “We were requested at 11:23 to assist our fire service partners at Prestwick Airport. Operations Control mobilized four appliances to the site, where firefighters remain working to support their partners.”
According to a statement from Delta, the flight was diverted to Glasgow Prestwick Airport due to a mechanical issue with one of the aircraft’s two engines. The airline apologized to its customers for the inconvenience and said it was working on getting them to their final destinations via Edinburgh.
No passengers were reported injured.