‘Terrified’ cabin crew criticised after fire

Passengers on a domestic flight in Denmark have criticised the behaviour of the “panicked” cabin crew after they were forced into an emergency landing when an engine caught fire. All 47 passengers onboard walked away unharmed from the Cimber Sterling flight between Copenhagen and Aalborg on 13th September, but many were shaken by what they considered to be the unprofessional reactions from the airline staff.

Speaking to Politiken, one passenger, Sussi Handberg, said, “We heard nothing from the cabin crew. They ran up and down the aisle and looked terrified – almost more panicked than anyone else.”

She added that many of her fellow travellers became hysterical during the ordeal. “The passengers looked scared – some shouted and screamed. Others were panicking. You could hear it in the way they shouted. Some were shouting for help, others were shouting names – I don’t know what names. Others just shouted. There was no help,” she said.

Peter Moller Wormsley, another flyer, told Politiken about a particular stewardess he was watching from his seat. “She was just sitting and staring, completely stiff with fear,” he said. “You could see it in her facial expression and her eyes – she’s completely paralysed. She only called the cockpit when I asked her if she ought to be taking charge. Then she walked to the other end of the plane and I didn’t see her again.”

Peter Fuglsang Christiansen added that they were given no instructions before the emergency landing 13 minutes after takeoff. “We didn’t hear again from the stewardesses for the rest of the flight. They didn’t secure the cabin before the emergency landing or tell us what to do when we landed and had to exit the plane. We didn’t get any information about having to brace or put on our safety belts,” he said.

Head of safety for Cimber Sterling, Tom Zollner, told the newspaper that the cabin crew acted according to procedure. “There is always room for improvement and I would like to hear what they have to say. We are currently gathering information and then we will make our recommendations,” he said.