LMontpellier airport was closed indefinitely after a cargo plane veered off the runway overnight while landing without injuries, the provincial Herald reported Saturday.
“As a safety measure and while waiting for a specialized agency to move the aircraft, commercial and cargo flights” will no longer be able to land in Montpellier indefinitely, the province said in a press release.
“All three people on board were unhurt. They were able to be evacuated and brought safely due to the quick intervention of the emergency services,” the same source said.
It was 2:50 a.m. when the Aéropostale flight, a cargo-laden Boeing 737, missed landing at Montpellier airport and ended its journey in the Mauguio lagoon at the end of the runway. The nose of the plane is now submerged.
An investigation has been initiated
“Until this plane is on the runway and the investigation is complete, we will not reopen the airport. After the device is removed, the runway will also be carefully identified,” airport services told AFP.
A crisis unit was activated at the airport during the day.
After various technical meetings and exchanges between representatives of “West Atlantic” company, insurers, experts, Boeing and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), it was decided to bring heavy lifting equipment to the site to move the aircraft. ” said the Governor in the evening.
“This complex maneuver will be launched on Sunday morning under the control of experts appointed by the airline,” it added.
For this Saturday, 42 flights are scheduled to operate, i.e. 21 commercial flights. On average, this coastal airport sees 197,000 passengers per month during the peak of summer.
Sixty firefighters from the Herald Department’s Fire and Rescue Service, including water rescue specialists, were sent to the scene along with a team from SAMU, the Aviation Gendarmerie Force and the airport.
The investigation has been handed over to the BEA’s Bureau of Investigation and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety, which is tasked with working to understand the cause of the crash, which occurred on the plane chartered by La Poste.
“Four BEA investigators have been dispatched to the scene “with the opening of a safety investigation,” the BEA tweeted Saturday.
The aviation gendarmerie was also seized by the public prosecutor to carry out investigations into the circumstances of the crash.
Every night, the plane landed at 2:45 a.m. with mail.
Located on the coast, Montpellier airport is not known for its dangerous nature and this accident was quite exceptional. As a preventative measure, Herald firefighters installed an anti-pollution device in the pool.
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