A FAMILY from Crowell were forced to escape from a plane following a dramatic emergency landing.
This week Kirsty Bonwick spoke of the shock she endured when the Virgin Atlantic Airbus was forced to return to Gatwick.
The 37 year old was bound for Orlando with husband Geoff, 46, and son Dino, 16, when the drama unfolded.
The trio were in the air when they learned there was a problem.
Mrs Bonwick said: “We’d been in the air about 25 minutes when the captain said we had to return because we were having a technical problem.
“I didn’t think much at that point.
“It wasn’t until the captain came over the loudspeaker and called for all the stewards to go immediately to the cockpit, and they all ran down the aisles.
“That’s when the panic set in.
“I was thinking: ‘Am I going to see the rest of my family again?’
“Your imagination goes mad.”
After the plane touched down back at Gatwick, passengers were told they needed to evacuate quickly through the emergency exit.
Mrs Bonwick recalled: “Everyone got hurt coming down the chute, we were lucky that we were in the second row back from the emergency exit.
“We just went flying across the concrete, there were some quite serious injuries.”
All passengers had to give an account to police before being transported to a nearby hotel overnight.
The following day, the family decided to head to the United States on an alternate flight.
She said: “We thought that if we didn’t take the flight, we never would.”
Four people were injured during the evacuation on April 16.
Gatwick Airport was closed for two hours following the incident.
It is thought the emergency was triggered by a fire in the hold of the plane.