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Aircraft emergency over Conroe

CONROE- There were some tense moments at Lone Star Executive Airport and the Conroe Fire Department around 7:45 a.m. on Monday morning, when officials were alerted that a twin engine Continental Express aircraft with passengers aboard was about to make an emergency landing.
Assistant Chief Paul Sims of the Conroe Fire Department said the call was dispatched as an aircraft with 50 people inside and the cockpit filling with smoke.
“The response called for four engines, a ladder truck, a battalion chief and a foam truck,” Sims said. “The foam truck is kept at Station 2 because of its proximity to the airport.”
As quickly as firefighters sprung into action, they were disregarded, since it was determined the aircraft was able to reach to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
The plane, operated by Indianapolis based Chautauqua Airlines, left from the same airport only a half hour before, according to the Associated Press. The plane landed safely and there were no injuries.
Sims said despite the rarity of such incidents in Conroe, his agency is prepared with a number of employees who are “aircraft rescue firefighter certified.”
Those people assist in training other CFD firefighters for aircraft emergencies.
CFD also has the necessary equipment to handle the situation, including “class B foam,” which is used for flammable liquids such as fuel, Sims said.
“We have it because of necessity,” Sims said. “With an aircraft, the bigger problem is the persons on board.”
To his knowledge, Sims said Conroe has never had an aircraft disaster involving as many passengers as were aboard the Continental Express plane on Monday morning.
“We’ve been blessed to this point,” he said.

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