Airliner forced to abort take-off due to ‘smoke’ in the cabin

A Flybe flight was forced to abort take-off due to the cabin filling with “smoke” while it was accelerating along the runway at Exeter Airport.

The airline said one passenger suffered a suspected broken ankle during the subsequent evacuation, which involved inflatable slides.

There were 100 passengers and five crew on board the flight to Alicante, Spain, when the incident happened on Thursday morning.

Footage of the evacuation shows one woman being carried away from the Embraer ERJ-195 jet by two men while another person tumbled forward after reaching the bottom of a slide.

Andy Feaver, 51, who was on the flight with his wife, told the Press Association: “As soon as I got on I smelled burning. As we were going along the runway to get ready to take off it stank of fuel.

“As they put the accelerator down to go, it filled up with smoke in the cabin. The pilot said ‘evacuate, evacuate’ and we all got out as quickly as we could.

“It was pretty scary. I’m not sure what caused it.”

Mr Feaver, a company director from Newton Abbot, Devon, added: “Ten seconds later we could have been up in the air and that could have been a completely different story.”

He paid tribute to the crew, saying they were “fantastic” in how they dealt with the emergency.

The airline said in a statement that flight BE4321 experienced “haze in the cabin just prior to take-off” and the crew took “the necessary precautionary measures”.

It added: “One passenger was taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle. Flybe have a representative with them at the hospital and are offering full support.”

A replacement aircraft departed at 1pm, more than five hours after the original flight was due to take off.