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Tuesday night a Delta flight from Lagos, Nigeria (LOS) to Atlanta (ATL) experienced serious engine issues, requiring the crew to make an immediate emergency landing back at Lagos. The airport’s fire authorities scrambled to meet the plane once on the ground.
The issue was determined to be serious enough that the crew initiated an emergency evacuation with the aircraft landed. While all passengers and crew were able to safely evacuate the aircraft, in a statement to TPG, Delta said it is “aware of five customers reporting non-critical injuries as a result of the evacuation.”
The aircraft involved in the incident is a 12-year old Airbus A330-200 with the registration number N858NW. Delta flight 55 was scheduled to depart at 10:25pm local time Tuesday night (4:25pm Eastern Time). According to FlightRadar24 data, the flight pushed back at 10:42pm and took off at 10:52pm. The aircraft landed back at Lagos at 11:00pm, just eight minutes after takeoff.
It’s very unusual for an aircraft departing on a long-haul flight to land so shortly after takeoff, and typically indicates a potentially life-threatening situation. Usually in these situations the aircraft weight is well above the Maximum Landing Weight, requiring the crew to dump fuel and/or circle to avoid potential structural damage to the aircraft.
There’s no indication at this time whether Delta flight 55 was able to dump fuel or was overweight at the time of the emergency landing.
This incident comes just a few days after a Saratov Airlines flight crashed outside Moscow shortly after takeoff.
Here are next steps from the company:
Delta teams are focused now on providing overnight hotel accommodations to customers and will rebook customers on an alternate Delta aircraft Wednesday. The safety of Delta’s customers and crew members is always our top priority.
Featured image by Kentaro Iemoto/Flickr