The drama happened around 5:30pm this afternoon at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport as the packed plane prepared to take off for Ibiza. No-one needed medical attention although some passengers are said to have suffered slight burns as they went down the emergency chute. Passengers slide down the chute. Smoke started to enter the cabin. The plane was about to take off
Footage filmed by other passengers showed panic as the plane filled with smoke.
Travellers were taken to the airport’s Terminal One while they waited to board another plane and their luggage transferred to the new flight. Firefighters were not called to deal with the incident. The unnamed passenger whose mobile caught light is said to be from New Zealand. The device is thought to have been in a suitcase in the compartment above his seat. A spokesman for Ryanair Spain said: “The passengers of a flight from Barcelona to Ibiza were evacuated in an emergency at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport because of a fire in a mobile phone that was being charged with an external battery. “All the passengers were evacuated from the aircraft in a safe way to the terminal and the cabin crew took charge of the device. A phone charger exploded in the cabin. No-one was injured in the evacuation. The emergency took place in Barcelona. “Ryanair is working to organise a replacement plane to re-accomodate the passengers as fast as possible.” One relieved passenger said: “Luckily it didn’t happen when we were already on the runway. “We were just over 100 feet away from the docking bay when the device exploded and smoke began to come out. “Fortunately I was in the first row and I opened the emergency door before the pilot activated the chute.” Another passenger, Jordi Vilagut, told a Catalan TV station the incident had caused the aircraft to fill with smoke and some flames. He said the evacuation had been more like a “stampede” because of the cabin crew rushing to get passengers off the plane as soon as possible.