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Thursday, May 21, 1998 Published at 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK

World: Europe

Passengers safe after plane evacuation
image: [ The plane skidded to a stop on grass ]
The plane skidded to a stop on grass

Nearly 200 British holidaymakers and cabin crew are recovering after their flight overshot the runway while landing in Ibiza.

Seventeen passengers were taken to hospital on the holiday island following the incident, suffering from cuts and bruises. All but one were released later in the day.

A spokeswoman for Ibiza Airport said the plane had skidded for 200 metres before coming to a stop.

Leisure International Airways, which owns the A320 plane, has said it is too early to know what caused the scare. A spokeswoman confirmed that an investigation is underway.

The flight had left Manchester Airport late on Wednesday night, with 180 passengers and seven crew on board.

[ image: One of the plane's jet engines]
One of the plane's jet engines
As it landed in Ibiza at 2am local time the jet overshot the runway and an emergency evacuation was carried out.

Kate Rogers, of Leisure International, said four escape chutes were deployed in the 90-second evacuation.

Later, relatives of passengers on the flight described what they were told had happened.

Deletta Parker related the experience to reporters of her 23-year-old son Solomon, who was looking forward to a week-long stag holiday with 30 friends.


"He said the plane had crashed, they landed in some bushes. They must have gone over the runway," she said.

"He didn't sound too bad. He was shaken but not hurt."

Mr Parker's cousin, 25-year-old Scott Macneill, phoned his mother, Marie Nelson, who said she had been relieved to hear no one was seriously hurt.

Emergency chutes

"They were told to use the emergency chutes and there were ambulance crews waiting for them," she said.

"Scott's terrified of flying so he was badly shaken but he wasn't hurt.

"It could have been much worse."

Asthma attack

A spokeswoman for the airport said only one person remained in hospital after suffering an asthma attack.

"Everyone is well now and have been taken to their hotels. One person who had an asthma attack is being checked."

She said the pilot avoided a main road by turning right and stopping the plane on grass.

"Cause unclear"

But Leisure International said it remained unclear what caused the scare.

Miss Rogers said: "It is too early to say at the moment. Investigations are taking place."

Leisure International confirmed it was prepared to bring home anyone who wanted to return. However it was said that the passengers would carry on with their holiday.

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