A BRITISH Airways plane has made an emergency landing in Valencia after smoke engulfed the entire cabin.
Videos posted to social media show passengers using the evacuation slide on the runway. Three people were rushed to hospital.
In another clip, thick grey smoke is seen in the cabin itself.
Lucy Brown, who was on board with her four terrified children, told Mirror Online: “We are thankful everyone is safe but, had this happened half an hour earlier, it might be a different story.
“There was a horrible smell. People were almost choking.”
The pilot of BA422, which left London Heathrow on Monday afternoon, reportedly told air traffic controllers ‘Engine on fire’ as he prepared to land the smoke-filled plane.
Spanish airport operator AENA confirmed the alarm call as the plane carrying 200 passengers neared Valencia’s Manises Airport yesterday evening.
The report was published as it emerged the number of people who needed treatment after the scare had risen to nearly 20.
Three people were taken to hospital for checks after the drama.
Another 16 people – some six more than initially reported – were treated for minor friction burns or panic attacks linked to the evacuation from the plane carried out using emergency chutes.
Brown, an associate dean at London College of Communication, added: “They were struggling to open the emergency doors because they were that stiff.
“Air hostesses were trying to communicate but you couldn’t see anything.
“It happened suddenly, about ten minutes before we were due to land. The plane was pretty full too, with lots of families and young children. My kids were in tears.”
A spokesman for British Airways said: “We can confirm that British Airways flight BA422 from Heathrow to Valencia has been involved in an incident today.
“The aircraft, an A321, has landed and all customers and crew have disembarked.
“British Airways teams are assisting customers who are in the airport terminal.”
A spokesman for a regional emergency services response unit added: “We were alerted to a possible fire in one of the engines of a plane when it was landing.
“When firefighters reached the aircraft they discovered there was only smoke and no fire.
“All the emergency doors were opened and passengers left via those exits.”