Plane skids off runway at Leeds Bradford Airport as Storm Babet wreaks havoc

No passengers were injured during the incident, with delays expected as the runway remains closed

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Friday 20 October 2023 16:18 BST
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Storm Babet: Plane skids off runway at Leeds Bradford Airport amid extreme weather

A Tui plane has skidded off the runway onto the grass at Leeds Bradford airport, as Storm Babet wreaks havoc across the UK with heavy rain and wind.

Emergency services were called to the incident, and were working alongside airport staff to remove passengers from the Tui Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

No one was hurt in the incident, but the closure of the runway has triggered diversions and delays.

Emergency services are at the scene while no passengers were injured in the landing

Dramatic footage shared on social media showed the aircraft surrounded by firecrews, with other flights grounded at the airport.

Tui flight TOM3551 had flown normally from the Greek island of Corfu.

A statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service read: “We are in attendance at an incident at Aircraft Ground Incident at Leeds Bradford Airport, in conjunction with other emergency services. At this time, there are no reported injuries or fires.

“West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service command unit has now been stood down and remaining crews are now assisting in evacuating all persons from the aircraft to the terminal.

A spokesperson for Tui said: “We are aware of an incident at Leeds Bradford airport this afternoon, in which upon landing flight TOM3551 slightly veered off while turning into the taxiway.

“There are no reported injuries, and our ground team are on hand to support passengers as they disembark.”

With the emergency services in attendance, take-offs and landings have been halted – with a series of diversions to Manchester by incoming flights from Belfast on easyJet, Palma on Ryanair and Malaga on Jet2.

Dozen of departures are delayed with no indication of when they might resume.

The incident came as Yorkshire was hit by heavy rain and strong winds caused during Storm Babet, which has caused severe travel disruption across the industry.

In September 2022, a cargo plane veered off the runway at Montpellier airport in southern France, causing many cancellations.

On the railways, the entire LNER network has come to an almost total halt because of Storm Babet.

Storm Babet has wreaked havoc across the UK

The train operator on the East Coast main line from Scotland, northeast England and Yorkshire to London King’s Cross said: “Severe weather is causing major disruption to train services. Many rail routes are suspended. Please do not travel today.

“We have services severely delayed across the route and we are working with Network Rail to get these trains moving as soon as possible.

“A new red weather warning has been issued across Scotland which will be in place until midnight on Saturday 21 October and the railway north of Edinburgh remains closed.

“Following this, a full safety inspection of the rail network is required by Network Rail Scotland before any rail routes can be reopened. We therefore do not expect to run any rail services north of Edinburgh until Monday 23 October.”

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