An engine on an A320 accelerating on the runway suddenly failed, prompting the pilots to slam on the brakes.
Eight people were injured when a Laudamotion aircraft departing London Stansted for Vienna suddenly cut its take-off short, skidding to a stop on the tarmac.
The Airbus A320-200 had begun accelerating as normal when passengers heard a “big bang on the side of the aircraft”. Immediately afterwards the pilots slammed on the brakes.
One passenger, Toni Barta, posted on Twitter that there was a “big bang and flames on engine”.
London Stansted was closed for several hours on Friday evening as passengers and crew evacuated and the aircraft was assessed.
Reports suggest that the Ryanair-owned Austrian budget carrier’s A320, registration OE-LOA, suffered failure in one of its CFM56 engines during take-off.
Eight people were hurt during the evacuation but their injuries were minor, an airport spokesman told the British broadcasters Sky News and ITV News.
A Laudamotion tweet after the incident said that the crew had “decided to abort the take-off due to engine issues and to disembark the passengers on the runway as a precautionary measure”.
An airport spokesman said that 13 inbound flights were diverted during the closure, though three of them later returned to Stansted. Two departing flights were cancelled.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch has sent a team to Stansted to investigate the incident.