West Atlantic B737 freighter overruns Montpellier Airport runway

A West Atlantice B737 lies with its nose submerged in a lake after a landing incident at Montpellier Airport in France.
Photo Credit: Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation civile (BEA)

LONDON – A Swiftair Boeing 737-400F freighter aircraft operated for West Atlantic has been involved in a runway excursion incident at Montpellier Airport (MPL) in France today.

The aircraft, registered EC-NLS (msn 25856), has overrun the overshoot area at the end of Runway 12L while landing at Montpellier Airport, and come to rest in a lake area. It is understood the aircraft was operating as Flight SW5745 from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Montpellier Airport (MPL).

West Atlantic B737 freighter aircraft with nose submerged in lake after runway overrun at Montpellier Airport, France.

Photo Credits: Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation civile (BEA)

The French air safety bureau – the Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation civile (BEA) – have opened an investigation into the incident and released a statement this morning.

The BEA statement advises the indefinite closure of Montpellier Airport following the runway overrun by the freight aircraft.

No injuries have been reported, however the airport is closed indefinitely to commercial and cargo flights as a security measure. Three personnel were reportedly aboard the aircraft; however, they were unharmed in the incident.

The aircraft came to rest with it’s nose partially submerged in the nearby lake area. 60 firefighters from the Hérault fire and rescue service, including water rescue specialists, the SAMU, the air transport police brigade as well as airport assets were deployed to the incident site.

The carrier EasyJet has confirmed that its flights operating from London Gatwick to southern France have been cancelled as a result of this morning’s landing mishap

Image: Flight Track courtesy FlightRadar24


UPDATE 24/09 0200 UTC

Montpellier Airport now lists flight cancellations for the remainder of Sat 24/09/22 as follows:

UPDATE 25/09 0500 UTC

Flight cancellations for Sun 25/09/22 are listed as follows. Travellers should check with the airline or Montpellier Airport for any updates:

UPDATE 25/09 0945 UTC

The Prefecture of Hérault has released an updated statement, advising that heavy lifting will be deployed to the incident site, saying:

The Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA) has opened a security investigation. Investigators were able to recover the flight recorders. Under the authority of the public prosecutor, the Air Transport Gendarmerie was seized to carry out investigations into the circumstances of the accident.

A crisis unit has been activated at the airport.

After various technical meetings and many exchanges with all the stakeholders (the company operating the aircraft, the insurers, the experts, Boeing, DGAC and the airport teams), a summary meeting was held under the authority of the sub-prefect Pierre Castoldi, in the presence of the chairman of the airport supervisory board, Christian Marty.

After examining several options, it was decided to transport heavy lifting equipment in the next few hours to move the aircraft in optimal safety conditions. This technically complex maneuver will be initiated tomorrow morning under the control of experts appointed by the airline.

As a preventive measure, the Hérault SDIS has installed an anti-pollution device in the Etang de l’Or. A new statement will be made tomorrow morning.

UPDATE 25/09 1325 UTC

It is now Sunday afternoon at Montpellier Airport and a recovery operation to remove the B737 freighter is now underway, involving earthmoving equipment and a crane.

UPDATE 25/09 1800 UTC

With a crane and lifting equipment, the Boeing has been removed from the lake.

Photo Credits: Aéroport Montpellie

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