A pregnant woman required medical treatment onboard a plane stuck on the runway at Manchester Airport, with passengers becoming increasingly frustrated as the hours ticked on
A pregnant woman collapsed on an airplane trapped on a taxiway as hundreds of passengers waited eight hours for takeoff.
An issue with a Cathay Pacific flight caused two other planes to be stranded on the taxiway amid scenes of chaos at Manchester Airport last week.
The faulty aircraft was due to fly to Hong Kong on December 15, with the airline later apologizing and confirming the plane is being inspected.
The knock-on effect meant a Brussels Airlines flight to the Belgian capital and a TUI flight to Cape Verde were both stuck.
A passenger on the Brussels flight said fliers were in their seats for almost six hours waiting for takeoff, with only water being offered free of charge.
The flight had originally been due to depart at around 12.30pm.
The plane was eventually towed back to the terminal around 6pm, with passengers given the option to stay on board or find alternate travel.
Manchester Airport has since said that “all necessary procedures” were carried out to ensure the safety of passengers.
Chris Brereton, who was heading to Bruges, told the Manchester Evening News a pregnant woman ‘collapsed’ and told of how passengers became increasingly frustrated as they sat beside the runway for hours.
He chose to stay on board the flight to enjoy his holiday, with the plane eventually taking off for Brussels just after 8pm.
It meant the flight was eight hours late.
He said: “The poor pregnant lady collapsed and two people on board stepped up to help her. This was after hours of being sat on the tarmac behind the broken plane.
“The captain kept saying ‘they’re coming to get you soon’ but it just never happened. The lady then collapsed at the front of the plane and thank god there were trained people on board who knew what they were doing.
“It’s an unbelievable credit to everybody on board that it stayed so calm and civilized because it could easily have kicked off.”
Brussels Airlines confirmed that a pregnant woman needed medical assistance on board after the flight had become blocked.
They added it was not able to get towed back to the terminal due to ‘safety regulations.’
A Brussels Airlines spokesperson said: “As mentioned before, a Cathay Pacific aircraft was blocking the runway due to technical issues which meant our aircraft OOSND (flight SN2174) was also blocked for several hours on the Manchester runway. Due to UK Safety Regulations it wasn’t possible to get towed back to the terminal.
“Despite the difficult situation, we did our utmost best to find solutions for all our passengers. The passengers with connecting flights, were rebooked on other flights. Only the ones having Brussels as final destination, left with our own flight to Brussels in the evening.
“We previously mentioned that passengers eventually disembarked and brought to the terminal by busses. This indeed didn’t happen as the steps arrived shortly before the Cathay Pacific aircraft cleared the runway and our aircraft was able to taxi back stand.
“The aircraft – with an initial delay coming into Manchester – was foreseen to take off around 12:30 and arrived back at the stand around 17:50.
“The aircraft was eventually pushed back around 20:00 – after disembarking all passengers and baggage with connecting flights, disembarking passengers who no longer wished to travel that day, refueling and de-icing – for take-off to Brussels.
“There was indeed a pregnant passenger on board who needed medical assistance.
“The paramedics attended to her on board and later in the ambulance parked in front of the aircraft.”
A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said: “We regret any disruption caused to passengers as a result of this incident, caused by a technical issue with a Cathay Pacific aircraft.
“The safety of everyone on our site is a top priority and all necessary procedures were followed to ensure the safety of passengers, aircraft and the surrounding airfield operation.
“This meant people onboard the affected aircraft faced delays as the appointed ground handlers of the airlines concerned ensured they could safely deploy the necessary equipment on the airfield to resolve the issue.”