Jet makes emergency landing at Shannon after windscreen cracks over Irish Sea

A transatlantic passenger jet has made an emergency landing at Shannon Airport after suffering a cracked windscreen over the Irish Sea, writes Patrick Flynn.

United flight UA-56 was travelling from Paris to Newark in the US at the time. There were 188 passengers and crew on board.

The Boeing 767-300 jet was east of Belfast when the crew declared an emergency at around 9.30am. The crew opted to divert to Shannon even though they were closer to Dublin at the time.

Emergency procedures were quickly implemented at Shannon Airport ahead of the aircraft's arrival.

Three units of Shannon Fire Service were mobilised to the airport in support of the airport’s own Fire and Rescue Service while two additional appliances from Ennis fire station took up positions at a designated holding point close to the M18 at Dromoland.

Several ambulances were also sent to the airport as a precaution.

The flight landed safely at 10.12am and stopped on a taxiway for a time where an inspection was carried out by fire crews. The jet then taxied to terminal where passengers were deplaned.

Efforts are now being made to get the passengers to their destination while the aircraft will be grounded at Shannon until a windshield change can be completed.

An airline spokesman said: "Our team at Shannon Airport is providing assistance to customers of flight UA56 (Paris-New York/Newark) which diverted to Shannon Airport today (February 27, 2017) because of a cracked windscreen. The aircraft landed safely at 10.50 a.m. (local time) and customers are scheduled to re-depart Shannon Airport today. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience caused."

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