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Published on : Monday, November 21, 2016
An investigation has been ordered into the crash of a de-icing vehicle into an Easyjet plane at the Belfast International Airport. The mishap happened at about 16:00 GMT on Sunday while the Belfast-to-Amsterdam flight was waiting to take off.
Alan Whiteside, operations director at the airport, said the flight was cancelled due to damage to the plane.
Passengers were on board the already-delayed flight while waiting for the aircraft to be de-iced.
Whiteside told a radio channel’s programme that de-icing takes place “in very close proximity” to the aircraft – with one member of staff driving the vehicle and another applying the de-icer.
“Unfortunately, on this occasion, it came into contact with the plane,” he said. “It doesn’t take much to damage an aircraft.
“Any damage at all will be of concern to the engineers and they will err on the side of caution.”
Mr Whiteside said there was “never any danger to the passengers or any crew”.
Passengers were offered meals and hotel accommodation if required, and the company has apologised for any inconvenience caused.
An Easyjet spokesperson said the safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew was always the carrier’s highest priority.