A passenger plane with a blown tire landed safely at Ben Gurion Airport on Monday after rescue services were put on high alert for a potential emergency situation.
Over 100 ambulances, firetrucks and emergency workers had been scrambled to the airport and Israeli fighter jets followed the Boeing 737 as it prepared to land four hours after taking off from Cologne, Germany.
After touching down, the Bulgarian charter plane used its engines to slow down to avoid putting pressure on the tires. The airport froze all landing and takeoffs moments before the plane landed.
The major emergency was declared after ground crews in Cologne found pieces of the tire after the Electra Airways flight took off, a statement from Ben Gurion Airport said.
מטוס חברת אלקטרה-אייר נחת בשלום בנתב"ג pic.twitter.com/GsKx6nG6Y9
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) July 1, 2019
The plane was carrying 152 passengers. Several people were treated for anxiety as the plane circled above the sea to dump fuel ahead of the tricky landing.
Ramon Airport in the south had been prepared to receive flights that might be diverted from Ben Gurion if needed.
Officials did not initially know which wheel was damaged, or the extent of the damage. As the plane came in for a landing at Ben Gurion, outside Tel Aviv, it flew by the airport to allow safety officials a view of the wheels.
Niri Yarkoni, a civil aviation expert, told Channel 12 news that blown airplane tires happen regularly and that the airport was acting with an abundance of caution.
The last major emergency declared at the airport was in May 2011, when a flight to Newark turned back after an issue with the landing gear. The plane landed without incident.