Birmingham & Black Country

Emirates jet stuck in grass at Birmingham Airport

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Media captionThe aircraft had 282 passengers on board

A plane diverted from Heathrow Airport due to the freezing weather conditions became stuck in a grass verge after landing at Birmingham Airport.

The Emirates Boeing 777-300ER was carrying 282 passengers and landed at 1354 GMT, Birmingham Airport said.

While taxiing to the terminal it "inadvertently" went on to the grass and a set of wheels became stuck.

Passengers were disembarked and the aircraft was due to be moved by midnight, the airport said.

A pilot of another plane scheduled to land at Birmingham, who saw what happened and asked to remain anonymous, said aircraft could "slip and slide" as much as cars could.

Image caption Plane wheels, like car tyres, are vulnerable to slipping on snow and ice, a pilot said

He said: "We eventually landed and it's an Emirates 777 which during taxiing has come off the taxi-way and one of the main landing gear legs has gone into the grass and he's stuck.

"They're disembarking all passengers by bus before they can attempt to lift the aircraft and get it back to the taxi-way some how which is going to be a long exercise I think.

"It's been not very good these past few days and aircraft can slip and slide around just as much as a car can do and aircraft of that weight have to be even more careful."

Passengers from the flight told BBC News that they were kept informed of what happened.

'Rock it loose'

One man said: "The plane was taxiing to the gate and the pilot appeared to cut the right hand turn a little too close and his main, right landing gear was off the tarmac in the mud, sinking.

"I looked out and it was about 8in (20cm) [deep].

"They did appear to try to rock it loose."

Passengers were on the plane for one-and-a-half hours before getting off, he added.

Image caption Metal steps had to be defrosted before they could be used by passengers

Stairs which were brought to the aircraft so people could get off also had to be defrosted first, a passenger claimed.

In a statement, an airport spokesperson said: "Birmingham Airport can confirm that an Emirates flight EK 29 inbound from Dubai was scheduled to land at London Heathrow and then rescheduled to come to Birmingham instead.

"The aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER with 282 passengers on board, landed routinely at 13.54.

"Whilst proceeding to the terminal, the aircraft inadvertently taxied on to the grass verge.

"One set of wheels became stuck in the soft verge.

"The recovery team is on site and efforts are being made to move the aircraft."

A spokesman for Emirates confirmed the aircraft's wheels became stuck on the right-hand side of the taxi-way.

"Steps were brought to the aircraft and all passengers have been safely disembarked," they added.

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