Thomas Cook passengers said that they were ‘lucky to be alive’ after their plane’s engine exploded during take-off
A Thomas Cook flight from Holguin airport in Cuba to Manchester had to be aborted just before taking to the skies on November 27 due to its engine catching fire.
As the plane departed from the Frank Pais Airport in Cuba, en route to Manchester, England, passengers claim that the engine exploded just as the aircraft was about to take off.
An Independent UK report stated passengers had a traumatising experience, many were refusing to get up on the rescheduled flight and having panic attacks.
The flight was scheduled to depart at 22:05 local time on Monday 27 November.
Passenger Brian Kennedy from Chorley, Lancashire, told The Sun: “You saw the engine exploding, then the plane went down suddenly, and the engine was on fire, with sparks flying down towards the back of the plane.”
He also added that the aircraft was jerking before take-off and later there was a loud bang and followed by a flash when the engine exploded.
"If it had happened a little bit later we there would have been an explosion, we would have all been killed,” a 64-year-old passenger was quoted as saying.
As per the accounts of passengers, the plane began to lurch as it increased speed down the tarmac, culminating in a loud bang as the engine combusted when the aircraft’s front wheel lifted off the runway.
One of the passengers, Chris Best, said that they were “big orange flames coming out of the engine”.
The pilot dropped the plane straight down and hit the brakes as the aircraft skidded across the runway, as per The Independent report. The flight crew was also said to be visibly distressed as the pilot made an emergency announcement to his 300-plus passengers. The crew was also heard telling passengers that they were 'lucky to be alive'.
The pilot was verbally shaken to a point where his voice cracked and he sounded like he was going to burst into tears.
“At that point, I realized it was very serious,” Swan said, a 41-year-old passenger who was returning from Cuba.As per EU Law, the passengers affected will receive 600 euro, or over USD 700 but many feel it doesn’t cut it.