A Virgin Atlantic plane’s emergency evacuation slide was accidentally deployed moments before take-off at Manchester Airport.
The Boeing 747 was preparing to take off to Orlando, US when the drama unfolded on the tarmac on Saturday, February 15.
Storm Dennis had been battering the airport with 70mph winds and heavy rain at the time of flight VS75’s incident.
A video showed the aftermath of the deployment, showing the slide tangled up in a catering service truck which had been offloading food onto the plane.
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The driver could be seen rushing into the cab of the vehicle to reverse, when the slide then suddenly burst on a sharp corner of the truck.
It then untangled to the floor and deflated as passengers on board watched on in shock.
The flight ended up being delayed so the slide could be removed, and didn’t depart Manchester until six hours and 16 minutes later.
It landed in Orlando four hours and 54 minutes late, having made up some time in the air.
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A spokesman for Virgin Atlantic told Simple Flying: “On 15th February, the VS75 from Manchester to Orlando was delayed due to an inadvertent slide deployment.
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority and no customers were onboard the aircraft at the time.
“We’d like to apologise for the delay and inconvenience caused.”
An escape slide sits inside a carbon fibre pressure cap by the airline’s interior door, Manchester Evening News previously explained.
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Pushing a lever on the door activates the slide. And so when the lever is in the “armed” position, opening the door pulls the slide out of its pack. The slide then drops for inflation to begin.
When flight attendants issue the call to “cross-check” after landing, that is a signal for one attendant to check another’s action to disarm the doors to prevent the slides from deploying.
It is not known what caused the slide on the Virgin plane to activate.
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