Oklahoma-Based Flight Reportedly Carrying US Troops Aborts Takeoff In Ireland
A U.S. charter flight aborted takeoff from Ireland's Shannon Airport on Thursday morning, forcing a halt to all air traffic to and from the airport. The airport's official twitter account said the Boeing 767-300 was safely evacuated and was being removed from the area so flights could resume.
Ireland's Independent newspaper said the Omni Air International flight was carrying U.S. military personnel, but there was no immediate confirmation from U.S. officials. Shannon is a regular refuelling stop for U.S. government flights to points further east after the transatlantic crossing.
Ireland's Transport Ministry said about 300 U.S. troops passed through Shannon Airport every day from January through March of this year, according to the Associated Press, which noted the U.S. military's heavy use of the airport was a point of contention in Ireland.
Flight tracking websites showed the plane, Omni Air 531, had arrived about two hours late to Shannon earlier on Thursday morning (just before 11 p.m. Wednesday, Eastern time) after taking off from Tinker Air Force base in Oklahoma City. Omni Air is based in Oklahoma, and has said it is regularly contracted for U.S. troop transport.
It was not immediately clear where the plane was attempting to depart for later Thursday when the takeoff was aborted.
Omni Air said in a tweet that the plane "rejected takeoff and was safely evacuated. Initial reports indicate no serious injuries to passengers or crew."