Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Ryanair aircraft slides off runway at Prestwick airport


Ryanair passenger Alex Paton told the BBC's Sophie Long that there was black ice on the runway

The runway at Prestwick Airport in the west of Scotland has reopened after a plane skidded on to the grass verge.

The Ryanair flight from Dublin had touched down just before 0900 GMT when it slid on ice while taxiing towards the terminal building.

Emergency services were called and the 129 passengers and six crew were taken off the plane. No-one was injured and the aircraft was not damaged.

The plane was removed and the runway reopened at about 1100 GMT.

The Boeing 737-800 was removed from the grass verge adjacent to the taxi-way at about 1620 GMT and taken to the maintenance hangar for inspection.

Plane on runway
None of the passengers or crew was injured in the incident

In a statement, Ryanair said: "After a normal landing was completed and while taxiing from the runway the aircraft encountered ice and slid just off the runway on to the grass verge.

"Passengers disembarked normally and were bussed to the terminal."

The statement added: "Ryanair apologises for any disruption suffered by passengers as a result of this incident."

Passenger Alex Paton told BBC Scotland about the moment the plane touched down.

"It did land with a bit of a bump but the plane didn't seem to be slowing down the way it would normally," he said.

"It was all over really quick and you realise you've come to a shuddering halt in a field."

You can hardly walk on the runway never mind stop a plane. How anyone expects to stop a plane on that I'll never know
Alex Paton

Mr Paton said the plane came off the end of the runway "just at the corner where it starts to turn round".

He said the back end of the plane "went out to the side" by about 20ft.

Despite the scare, Mr Paton said the mood among passengers was "really buoyant" as everyone on board "knew they were OK".

After the plane came to a stop the crew initially thought it may be towed from the field, Mr Paton said.

The Paton family, who were on the aircraft which skidded at Prestwick airport, describe their experience.

They were then told this would not be possible and the passengers were disembarked.

Mr Paton said the fire service was already waiting when they left the plane.

He also described the runway as "a block of ice".

"You can hardly walk on the runway never mind stop a plane," he added.

"How anyone expects to stop a plane on that I'll never know."

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23 Dec 09 |  Edinburgh, East and Fife
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23 Dec 09 |  Scotland

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