A CAPTAIN fled his plane alone after a pre-takeoff explosion, leaving his passengers and crew behind.
Brits say the pilot did a “full Costa Concordia” by FIRST escaping the burning plane without stopping to help someone else after an “almighty bang” at the tail.
Chaos broke out on the flight as it was preparing for takeoff from Barcelona when a burning smell and smoke began to fill the cabin of Spanish budget airline Vueling’s flight.
As panicked stewards ran up and down the aisle, the families watched in shock as the pilot sped out of the cockpit, opened the side door and ran out of the plane without stopping.
A stunned Andrew Benion, 50, who was among hundreds of Brits on the flight to Birmingham, said: “It was completely shocking.
“Almost everyone on the plane is British and everyone is buckled up.
“Suddenly there was this huge bang and the smell of burning smoke coming out of the back of the plane.
“All the lights went out and the emergency lights came on – it was terrifying.
“Next, the stewards go into the meltdown, pacing up and down the aisles – first telling everyone to keep their belts on, then telling everyone to take their belts off.
“One ran into the cockpit to tell the captain. Then, as soon as a stewardess opened the front door, the captain immediately ran away. He was just gone. He was the first to get off the plane.
“He did a complete Costa Concordia.
“You’ve never seen anything like it. If we weren’t all so scared it would have been a complete comedy.
“His door opened, then the side door opened and boom – he was just gone.
“Then his whole crew ran after him and left us all.
“There was only one stewardess on the plane and you could see the fear on her face.
“She started yelling for everyone to get out.
“The Spaniard next to us translated and said, ‘The plane is on fire.’
“We couldn’t believe the captain just left us like that – he ran to safety and we all sat there like lemmings.”
Pipeline engineer Andrew, from Telford, Shropshire, flew home from a £4,000 Mediterranean cruise on Thursday to celebrate his 50th birthday with his wife Clare, 46.
After departing from Rome, the couple docked in Barcelona and took BA-owned Vueling flight VY8754 to Birmingham after their original BA flights were cancelled.
Andrew said: “Obviously we were totally panicking. We got off the plane and all the fire engines and ambulances showed up.
“They took us to a glass reception area and all the doors were locked – then we were surrounded by the police.
“They acted as if there had been a terrorist attack.
“We could see them spraying the back of the plane but all the staff refused to speak to us.
“They left us there for an hour, then took us to another plane and left us there for another 90 minutes while it was being refueled.
“Another captain then showed up on the plane and apologized but refused to go into detail.
“He just said, ‘We apologize for the inconvenience – we’ll get you back to Birmingham as soon as possible.’
“We ended up taking off, but obviously the atmosphere on the plane was appallingly bad – no refreshments, drinks or anything like that.
“And of course nobody wanted to be on that plane – we were all scared.
“One thinks if that had happened when we took off it could have been catastrophic.”
The Sun has reached out to Vueling for comment.
Some 32 people died on the Costa Concordia – once known as the ‘unsinkable’ cruise liner – when it crashed into the sea on Friday, April 13.
Captain Francesco Schettino initially refused assistance and about 20 minutes later the ship – 17 stories high – began sinking as 4,000 passengers jumped into the cool, dark water instead of boarding lifeboats.
Schettino was dubbed “Captain Coward” by the press after he fled the ship in a lifeboat shortly after the sinking began, leaving his crew to evacuate the passengers.
He is now serving a 16-year sentence in an Italian prison for his role in the incident.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5843747/captain-flees-plane-and-passengers-after-fire-breaks-out/ Anger as the captain flees his own plane, leaving his passengers behind, after a fire broke out on board