All 170 passengers and crew members were uninjured when a Greek charter plane
made an emergency landing at Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday at noon, the Israel
Airports Authority reported.
The Airbus, flight HRM 7332 from Crete to
Tel Aviv, likely experienced a hydraulic glitch in its steering system, causing
the airport ground crew to declare a State of Emergency Level 2 prior to the
emergency landing, the IAA said. Shmuel Zaki, the manager of Ben-Gurion Airport,
oversaw the emergency preparations from the facility’s Ramon tower and closed
Israel’s airspace – directing planes on their way here to land at alternative
Meanwhile, after receiving a call at 11:37 a.m., Magen David Adom
emergency crews rushed to the airport from the Yarkon, Gush Dan, Ayalon, Lachish
and Jerusalem regions to await the plane’s landing, with dozens of motorcycles,
ambulances and mobile intensive care units, the emergency organization said. In
addition to IAA and MDA crews, teams from the IDF’s Home Front Command as well
as the Israel Police and the Israel Fire and Rescue Services also prepared
themselves at the airport.
“The regular training exercises of the MDA
with the security and rescue forces of the State of Israel proved again today
that within minutes of receiving news of the emergency situation at Ben-Gurion
Airport, dozens of mobile intensive care units and ambulances arrived and were
prepared to provide care and address any possible scenario,” said MDA
director-general Eli Bin.
By 12:15 p.m., the pilot had completed the
landing operation safely, and the emergency situation was canceled, an MDA
report said. The plane drove to the end of the airport runway and the pilot shut
down the engine, while the firefighting crew cooled the wheel system, IAA
explained. A few minutes later, ground crews led the plane by trailer to the
parking area, and the passengers were transferred to Terminal 3 of the airport,
the authority added.
The plane in question belonged to Hermes Airlines, a
Greek charter airline that is a subsidiary of the French company Air