British plane makes emergency landing after engine fire alert

London: Thirty-one people on board a British plane today had some anxious moments when the flight made an emergency landing at an airport in Essex after a safety alert about a fire in one of its engines.

The Blue Islands' flight SI712 with 28 passengers and three crew on board was flying from Jersey to London City Airport when it requested to land at Southend Airport after a safety alert about a fire in an engine.

Firefighters were called to Southend Airport, but the twin propeller plane landed safely on one engine and it is believed the alert may have been a false alarm.

"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 08:48 AM," a spokesman for Blue Islands said.

"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 spokesman said.

Essex fire service divisional officer Neil Fenwick, who attended the incident, said: "This was a textbook 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 and no one has been hurt," the fire official said.

A spokeswoman for London Southend Airport said: "Due to technical difficulties, the pilot requested to land here.

Emergency services were stood down shortly after the landing and the aircraft taxied normally to the stand to allow passengers to disembark."

All the passengers were transferred by coach to their final destination.

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