Engine explodes moments before take-off at London City Airport, four suffer minor injuries

The passenger plane carrying 78 people was bound for Geneva, Switzerland. The engine was completely engulfed in flames, witnesses said

Four people have been treated for minor injuries after a passenger plane’s engine exploded moments before take-off from City Airport in London.

The Geneva, Switzerland bound Swiss Air Avro RJ100 had 74 passengers and four crew on board when it suffered an engine problem, airport authorities said.

Passengers on yesterday’s 2.55pm LX437 flight said flames engulfed the engine. The four were injured as a result of pushing in the frenzy to escape.

Mike Mompi, 28, who was flying to Switzerland for a ski holiday, said the Swiss International Airlines plane was revving up on the runway for take-off when it happened.

“There was a large bang and flames which grew and grew and large chunks of what looked like chunks of red-hot metal started flying up. People started freaking out,” he said.

Courtney Helm, 29, an art consultant from Islington, who was also going skiing, said: “It was so scary and shocking. I’m just thankful we were on the runway.”

The runway was shut for nearly 90 minutes as a result of the incident, with a number of departing flights postponed or cancelled, while several arrivals were diverted or left circling.