Some 11 passengers were injured on Sunday when South Africa’s low-cost 1time airline’s plane aborted take-off at Johannesburgâ?s OR Tambo International Airport.
The 128 passengers were forced to disembark from the Cape Town-bound flight beca use an engine caught fire as the plane was taking off. The injuries were sustain e d in the process of evacuation.
The pilot left the runway and stopped the aircraft at one of the airports’ apron s. Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) fire fighters were already on scene and responded to an engine fire on the left side of the aircraf t.
On Monday, the airline defended the actions of its cabin crew.
”Passengers were evacuated via the Emergency chutes. In the process of evacuati on, eleven passengers were injured and referred to at the O.R Tambo International Airport’s Clinic of which six people were transferred to the ARWYP Hospital in Kempton Park,” said Bongani Maseko, ACSA’s Airports Operations Director.
Immediately after the incident, the runway was closed and a full inspection of t he entire runway was conducted. Fire, Rescue and safety officials, cleared and collected all debris that came off the affected airline’s engine.
This was followed by a secondary inspection where the runway was declared safe f or normal operations.
However, some passengers complained about the cabin crew’s response to the situa tion.
The airline responded that they handled the emergency evacuation of the plane pr ofessionally.
“The crew handled the situation incredibly well, they were not panicking but tak ing control of the situation. The cabinet crew was screaming because they have t o shout loudly so that passengers can know what is going on,” said airline CEO Rodney James.
The 1Time airline is a low-cost airline based in the Isando Industrial Park in K empton Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, South Africa.
From its base at the OR Tambo International Airport, the airline operates schedu led domestic services.
The name of the company, “1time”, is a South African expression meaning ”for r eal”