A smoke filled SriLankan Airlines flight bound for Colombo from Bangkok declared an emergency soon after taking off last night and returned to Suvarnabhumi airport with passengers and crew on board.
The rescue and support offered by Bangkok airport staff in this emergency of flight UL 891, proved to be more hazardous than the emergency itself and in violation of safety and emergency procedures during this incident.
Many passengers photographed were seen loitering on the tarmac unattended soon after Captain Upali Amerasinghe instructed them to disembark the upon the aircraft ramp steps being positioned.
Passengers were seen photographed covering their noses and mouths still suffering from smoke inhalation even after disembarking the aircraft.
In a recorded video captured by a passenger Capt. Amerasinghe appears to be more traumatized than the passengers himself. He is heard announcing “there is nothing to worry about, so please use caution when getting down from the ladder”.
A passenger on the flight Dallas Kelaart speaking to Colombo Telegraph from Bangkok asked “Which ladder was the captain asking us to disembark from? ”
“There was absolute chaos and the ground staff in Bangkok did not have the situation under control. I in fact have refused to fly back on the same aircraft. The ground staff is pushing us to somehow travel on the same plane now saying there is no other choice as the flights from Bangkok to Colombo are all full. This situation has brought bad publicity to the airline, as most passengers taking pictures and videoing the incident handled unprofessionally have already posted these on social media” Kelaart said.
Passenger Kelaart including another 15 passengers have categorically refused to fly back on the same aircraft after it was cleared to operate, stating the flight to be unsafe to travel.
SriLankan Airlines was recently ordered to provide explanation by the International Civil Aviation Organization for alleged safety violations pertaining to flights operated to Seychelles.
It was reported that SriLanka risks been blacklisted by ICAO if proved to be guilty for safety violations.
Whilst publishing this story the aircraft still remains on ground in Bangkok.