Thomas Cook plane returns to Gatwick as 13ft part falls off midair

Ruth Doherty
Thomas Cook plane returns to Gatwick after slide falls off mid-air
Thomas Cook plane returns to Gatwick after slide falls off mid-air



There was panic on a Thomas Cook plane bound for Egypt when part of the aircraft fell off midair.

A 13ft-long emergency slide fell from 5,200ft into the village of Langton Green near Tunbridge Wells on Friday, reports the BBC.

Passengers reportedly screamed in horror as they heard a loud bang, and many believed they were going to crash.

One passenger, Yousef Laazizi, told the Mirror the noise that went through the jet when the slide fell was "enormous".

"It was terrifying, like hitting a brick wall in mid-air. People were screaming and crying."

The plane carrying 237 passengers left Gatwick at 9am but had to turn back soon after.

A spokesman for Thomas Cook told Kent Online the plane had landed safely back at Gatwick, adding: "We can confirm that flight TCX1638, from Gatwick to Hurghada, returned to the airport after a short time into the flight after a fault was reported with an over wing slide.

"Whilst airborne, the slide unit has fallen from the aircraft and we are aware that local police have been informed. The aircraft landed safely at Gatwick Airport and we are now immediately undertaking a full investigation and working with the airline authorities.

"We'd like to apologise to our customers for the delay to their flight – they will depart this afternoon on a replacement aircraft."

The slide was seen dropping from the air by a number of witnesses at around 11.15am.

Sussex and Kent police were involved in the search for the slide, which is thought to have landed on farmland.

Holidaymakers later continued with their journey on a replacement aircraft.



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