A plane misses landing at Montpellier airport and ends up in a pond

Montpellier airport has been closed indefinitely, a freight plane left the runway overnight during its landing without causing injuries, the prefecture of Hérault announced on Saturday. “As a security measure and while waiting for a specialized company to move the planes, commercial and freight flights” will no longer be able to land in Montpellier indefinitely, the prefecture said in a statement. “The three people present in the device are unharmed. They were able to be untangled and brought to safety thanks to the rapid intervention of the emergency services,” said the same source.

© AFP

At the end of the day, the authorities of the department indicated that “all actors have been mobilized on the ground” and that “several options are being evaluated for technical and safety issues”.

It was 2:50 am when an Aéropostale plane, a Boeing 737 loaded with freight, missed landing at Montpellier airport and ended its journey in the Mauguio pond located at the end of the runway. The nose of the plane is currently submerged.

“As long as this aircraft is on the runway, and the investigations are not concluded, we will not reopen the airport. After the removal of the aircraft, the runway will also be accurately diagnosed”, they told AFP airport services.

For this Saturday, 42 aircraft movements were planned, or 21 commercial flights. On average, this coastal airport welcomes up to 197,000 passengers per month in the height of the summer season. Flight cancellations or their travel to the nearest airports are the responsibility of the airlines, Montpellier airport said without further details on the decisions made.

Sixty firefighters from the Hérault departmental fire and rescue service, including water rescue specialists, were sent to the scene with a team from the SAMU, the air transport gendarmerie brigade and airport crews.

A plane misses landing at Montpellier airport and ends up in a pond
© AFP

An investigation has been entrusted to Bea, Bureau of Investigation and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety, which will have to work to understand the causes of this accident on this plane chartered by La Poste. Each night, this flight landed at 2:45 am, carrying mail. “Four BEA investigators were sent to the scene” with “a security investigation opened,” the BEA tweeted Saturday, specifying that the device was operated by “West Atlantic” company.

Located on the coast, Montpellier airport is not known for its dangerousness and this incident is truly exceptional.

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