London Heathrow to Tel Aviv El Al flight 318 emergency lands at London's main airport after the Boeing 747-400 airliner's engine bursts into flames.
News from Galei Zahal on Israel's radio programme Galgalz and in Haaretz newspaper report of an emergency landing by an EL AL plane at London Heathrow.
The incident occurred about 20 minutes after flight 318 took off from the Heathrow airport, around 1 A.M. Israeli time. It is reported that a loud bang was heard on the right side of the Boeing 747-400 airliner.
After a smell was reported and the plane began to lose speed, the crew, headed by captain Ilan Margalit turned the plane around back to Heathrow. Extensive emergency crews awaited the unscheduled emergency landing of the plane at the London airport.
The plane landed safely using three engines with a trail of fire coming out of the fourth. One of the 350 alarmed passengers interviewed by Galei Zahal said he 'saw death before his eyes.'
El Al established, over 60 years ago, as the national carrier of Israel, has amassed an enviable safety record. It carries over 3 million passengers a year and as reported by CNN, "El Al is considered the most secure airline in the world... All El Al pilots are veterans of the Israeli air force and are trained in handling weapons and in hand-to-hand combat."