Family's terror after plane catches fire 15 minutes after take-off
12:00am Saturday 19th October 2013 in News
A MOTHER has spoken of her terror after the plane she and her family were on caught fire in mid-air.
Tracy Morris and 10 members of her family were flying from Manchester Airport to Antalya in Turkey for a sunshine break when the drama unfolded.
Just 15 minutes into the flight, the pilot said there was a fire in the ovens and that the plane would have to make a “priority landing”.
Mrs Morris, from Westhoughton, said: “I thought we were going to die. The grandchildren didn’t really know what was going on, which was a blessing in disguise.
“One passenger was screaming and a hostess had to calm her down.”
The plane touched down at East Midlands Airport at 4.30pm on Saturday, September 14 — but all the passengers were told to stay on board while emergency crews dealt with the blaze.
The Morris family, including Mrs Morris and her husband, David, both aged 42, had to wait for more than 10 hours at East Midlands Airport before they were given any more information.
Her young nephew, Lewis Cowburn, aged seven, became poorly as they had packed his medication as hold luggage. Mrs Morris said: “Lewis has three conditions: Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD and Autism. All of these conditions came on at the airport, so it was awful for him and for us as we were trying to calm him down.”
The family was given £15 each for food and drink by holiday firm Thomas Cook, who they had booked the trip with.
On Sunday morning, at 2am, they were taken back to Manchester Airport by coach, which took three hours.
Mrs Morris said: “When we got there, they told us there were no hotels left, so we would have to stay there or go home.
“I was furious with Thomas Cook. We ended up staying so they gave us £10 each for breakfast, and we finally set off for Turkey at 7am.
“The only apology we got was from the pilot when we got on the plane.”
Mrs Morris, a healthcare assistant at the Royal Bolton Hospital, said the family has been told it will not be compensated for the £5,300 holiday.
Thomas Cook apologised and said it was still investigating the family’s compensation claim.
A spokesman said: “We worked hard to get them back on their way as soon as possible and we’d like to thank them for their continued patience during this delay to the start of their holiday.”
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