There was anxiety in the wee hours of Wednesday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos as a Delta Airlines Airbus 330- 200 with capacity for 244 passengers developed an engine problem about one hour after it took off from the airport.
During the emergency evacuation, five passengers were injured.
According to sources, the pilot sensing danger with the engine on fire initiated an emergency return to the Lagos Airport.
Airport sources hinted that the pilot had informed Aerodrome Fire and Rescue Safety Unit of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to prepare for emergency landing.
A source hinted that with sufficient mobilization from the relevant safety emergency agencies, a section of the runway was closed for the aircraft to land.
While, a section of the runway closed to traffic and the fire in the aircraft engine put out, some operations were disrupted.
According to investigations, with the incident occurring at a section of the runway, international departures were reorganized on request with contingency measures in place.
An official of FAAN confirmed that the Delta Airlines aircraft is still on ground.
She said the aircraft has been towed from the runway to pave way for other aircraft that are either landing on taking off.
An official of another aviation agency said though the fire has been put out, the aircraft is still lying near the runway.
Meanwhile, officials of Delta Airlines have confirmed that an Atlanta-bound flight from Lagos, Nigeria was forced to turn back Tuesday after the plane experienced engine issues.
According to the airline, flight 55 from Murtala Mohammed Internationl Airport in Lagos took off from the airport around 10:50 p.m. Nigeria time.
Flight tracking website FlightAware indicates the flight had only been in the air for a little less than an hour and a half, and had only traveled 29 of its roughly 5,800-mile journey, before one of the A330-200’s two engines reported issues.
Delta said the flight landed safely shortly after midnight, but passengers had to use the emergency slides to exit the plane onto the runway.
Airport fire crews met the plane on arrival, and passengers were bussed back to the terminal.
At this time, Delta said it is aware of five customers who reported non-critical injuries during the evacuation.
The company said it’s now focused on trying to find overnight hotel accommodations for customers, and will likely rebook them on a Wednesday afternoon flight.
“The safety of Delta’s customers and crew members is always our top priority,” the company concluded.