A cargo plane ends up drinking in a French lake after overrunning the runway and ends up nose first in the water

A cargo plane loaded with freight overran the runway while landing at Montpellier Méditerranée Airport (MPL), France, in the early hours of Saturday morning and found itself partially submerged in a lake at the far end of the track.

The 29-year-old Boeing 737 cargo plane which was operated by Swiftair on behalf of Swedish airline West Atlantic had left Paris for the short jump to Montpellier at 1.30am and landed just over an hour later in the city in the south of France.

Credit: BEA

The aircraft somehow overshot the runway by 2,600 meters and finally came to rest about 200 meters past the end of the runway, its nose partially submerged in the Etang de Mauguio (a lake at the bottom of the track).

Fortunately, local officials say the three crew members on board the plane were evacuated safe and sound “thanks to the rapid response of the emergency services”.

Unfortunately, with the plane now stuck in the lake, authorities say they had no choice but to temporarily close the airport to all departures and arrivals until the plane could be extracted from the water.

The Hérault prefecture said in a statement that a company specializing in removals had been called for help, but the airport will remain closed for the rest of Saturday.

Luckily, the airport isn’t very busy at the best of times. About 14 departures and 11 arrivals were canceled as a result of the accident.

French accident investigators from the Bureau of Investigation and Analysis (BEA) are already on site and investigating the cause.

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Mateusz Maszczynski


Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the Middle East’s most important airline and flew throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centered stories. Always on the cutting edge, Matt’s knowledge, analysis and news coverage are often used by some of the biggest names in journalism.

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