An El Al flight that was making its way from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport to New York made an emergency landing in Ireland on Monday, after smoke was detected in the airplane’s passenger compartment.
The aircraft landed safely and no one was injured. The passengers were taken to a local hotel and another aircraft was sent from Israel to take the passengers to New York.
Flight 007 had taken off from Israel on a Boeing 747-400 with 320 passengers and crew onboard. Six hours after takeoff, the passengers smelled something burning, causing suspicion among the crew that a fire broke out on board. The captain subsequently decided to land the plane at Shannon Airport in Ireland.
Dor Pearl, one of the passengers on the flight, told Channel 2 News, "When we were over London, we began smelling a very strong odor. At first we thought it was burning food but the crew said there was no food being heated. They subsequently turned off the entertainment system which led to some relief, but then the smell came back.”
Pearl continued, "Later on, they turned off all the lights on the plane and within half an hour we landed at Shannon. We remained on the plane for a few hours and then they took us by bus to the hotel.”
Pearl praised the crew onboard, saying, “They did a great job, the flight attendants were calm the whole time, they patiently answered all the passengers’ questions and took care of what we needed after landing.”
In July, an El Al plane flying from London to Tel Aviv was forced to turn back to Heathrow Airport after one of its engines failed. All 390 passengers on board Fight 318 were safe, and they were transferred to another plane.
The plane's crew declared an emergency shortly after takeoff when one of the Boeing 747-400's engines failed. The engine began breaking apart in mid-air, creating panic among passengers, although El Al said they were not in danger.