Shannon Airport (SNN) was forced to close for a number of hours earlier today after an air traffic controller noticed smoke and fire coming from an Omni Air International Boeing 767-300's landing gear shortly before it was due to depart the Irish airport.
Upon the alarm being raised, the airport's fire service raced to the aircraft and extinguished the fire on the main landing gear. All passengers and crew evacuated the aircraft via emergency slides, while it remained on the runway and were taken back to the airport's terminal.
There were no injuries reported and after the aircraft was made safe and examined it was moved off the runway and Shannon Airport reopened shortly after 11am this morning. The Air Accident Investigation Unit confirmed that: "An AAIU go-team are responding to an occurrence at Shannon Airport, involving a Boeing 767 aircraft which was evacuated on the runway following a reported fire in a main-wheel well. Following consultation with the Shannon Airport Authority, the AAIU has given permission for the aircraft to be removed from the runway."
The airline issued the following statement via social media "We are investigating reports of an incident involving Omni Air International flight 531 at Shannon Airport, Ireland. The Omni Boeing 767-300 aircraft rejected takeoff and was safely evacuated. Initial reports indicate no serious injuries to passengers or crew. We are participating in the investigation of this incident."
Omni Air International is a US-based airline that specialises in operating charter flights, both in the leisure market and for the US Department of Defence, often transporting military and government personnel. There has been no confirmation regarding who had charted the aircraft for this aborted flight, or if there were any military personnel among the 145 passengers on the aircraft at the time of the incident this morning.