On September 24, 2022, early in the morning, a West Atlantic Boeing 737 cargo overshot the runway at Montpellier Airport and partially sank into a near lake.
The local government confirmed in a statement that three crew members were onboard but managed to leave the tragedy uninjured.
The plane, which is leased by SwiftAir and has the registration EC-NLS, was carrying out a flight for West Atlantic at the time of the incident.
At 02:50 local time, the SWN5745 flight departed from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and arrived in Montpellier, southern France’s Mediterranee Airport (MPL).
⚠️ Accident du @BoeingFrance #737 immatriculé EC-NLS exploité par #WestAtlantic / sortie de piste pendant atterrissage survenue le 24/09/22 à l’aéroport de @mplaeroport / 4 enquêteurs @BEA_Aero sur place / ouverture d’une enquête de sécurité. pic.twitter.com/H76U3BbRxk
— BEA ✈️ ⚙️🔬🇫🇷 (@BEA_Aero) September 24, 2022
After touching down, the plane left the runway’s end and made it to a nearby lake. While the remainder of the fuselage remained on the ground, the nose gear crashed into the water.
Following the event, Montpellier Airport was shut down until the plane was removed. For the remainder of the day, all incoming and leaving commercial flights were canceled or diverted.
“A technical incident prevents normal operation,” the airport’s announcement reads. “Passengers and those accompanying them are advised not to go to the airport until operations are possible. We encourage them to contact their airline and check the flight status in real-time. Thank you for your understanding.”
French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation civile (BEA) is at the scene and has opened an investigation.
Photo cover via Twitter: @BEA_Aero
❌✈️ Cette nuit un avion de fret en phase d’atterrissage à l’aéroport de #Montpellier est sorti de la piste.
Pas de blessé.
⚠️ L’aéroport de Montpellier @MPLaeroport est fermé pour une durée indéterminée aux vols commerciaux et aux vols de fret.
ℹ️ Communiqué de presse ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/jej7aVd2Wl
— Préfet de l'Hérault 🇫🇷 (@Prefet34) September 24, 2022