Istanbul-bound passengers shaken after aircraft engine ‘catches on fire’ at Erzurum Airport
ERZURUM - Doğan News Agency
“It was a horrible scene. It was a near-death experience,” said Yunus Emre Kavas, a passenger, describing the panic on board.
The commercial flight, which was supposed to take off at 8:25 p.m. local time carrying 189 people had barely made it to the runway when flames burst out of its right wing engine.
People began to scream. Some began running to the front of the plane and some fainted, according to Kavas.
“It would have been a disaster if it had happened while flying,” he said.
The passengers were evacuated and the fire was extinguished by a fire crew within a short time.
“They evacuated us but they gave no explanation [about what happened on the plane],” said the passenger.
“They wanted to fix the airplane and to prepare for takeoff again, but we did not want to fly on a damaged plane,” Kavas added.
Passengers who had become angry after waiting hours at the airport took out their frustration on one of the airport personnel when they could not find an authorized person. The airport attendant went to a security point indicating to security that her life was at risk.
The airport authorities said what the passengers saw was not a fire, but the result of a compressor stall in the engine, which is similar to a car backfiring.