Plane makes emergency landing at London Southend Airport after 'engine catches fire'

No one was hurt in the incident

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The Independent Online

A small passenger plane had to be diverted to London Southend Airport this morning after it was feared the engine had caught fire.

The twin propeller plane, carrying 28 passengers and three crew members, landed safely after being diverted from London City Airport to the Essex hub at about 8.30am this morning.

Automatic systems on the plane extinguished the fire before it landed, Essex Fire and Rescue Service said.

Nobody was hurt and firefighters inspected the engine to make sure it was safe.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick, who attended the incident, said: "This was a text book operation. The fire was out by the time the plane touched down and no-one appears to have been hurt.

"The plane landed safely on one engine and automatic fire suppression systems on board had completely extinguished the fire.

"Our crews made sure that the fire was fully out but were not required to take any further action. We left the scene in the hands of the airport.

"This had the potential to be an extremely serious incident but everything which should happen in a situation like this did and the plane was able to land safely."

Tracy Jones, spokeswoman for Southend Airport, said the aircraft involved was operated by Blue Island Airways and had been travelling from Jersey. It landed safely just before 9am.

Following initial investigations it appeared that there may have been a false alarm. A Blue Islands spokesperson said: "At approximately 08:28 local this morning, the Blue Islands flight SI712 Jersey to London City with 28 passengers and three crew on-board, experienced a safety warning.

"As a precautionary measure the engine was shut down, and this flight followed standard procedures and diverted to London Southend Airport. The aircraft landed safely at London Southend at 08:48.

"The aircraft is currently being inspected by engineers at Southend. Initial indications are that no fire took place and it appears to be a false alert.

"The passengers were then transported by road to London City Airport. Passenger, crew and aircraft safety is our number one priority at all times."

Additional reporting by Press Association