Worrying footage shows the moment a Ryanair flight began filling with smoke and had to turn back and land.
The aircraft was on its way to Stansted Airport from Bucharest, Romania, when a thick fog began spreading through the cabin, shortly after take-off yesterday morning.
According to reports, there were 169 passengers and 4 crew members on board the flight, which had to return to Otopeni airport on Tuesday (21 January), where passengers were disembarked.
The flight was originally due to set off at 6.40am but was delayed after a fault was found, causing a replacement aircraft to be found.
It was not until 10:57am local time that they were able to start their journey, but just minutes after take-off the captain declared mayday and signalled an emergency, ordering the plane to return to Otopeni airport.
According to eye-witnesses on board the flight, the smoke started to fill the cabin as the plane reached an altitude of 5,000 feet, causing people to panic.
After landing, some of those who had been on the flight turned to social media to share their experiences.
One passenger wrote: "It was a traumatic experience, as soon as I took off everything was filled with smoke. We could not even see two rows in front of us."
Adding: "It was very bad, the crew was quiet. We didn't even see the oxygen masks that should fall in such a condition. It was nothing and I was in real panic."
In order to stop inhaling the smoke many passengers stuffed scarves or clothing over their mouths to try and get clean air.
The airline arranged for a third aircraft to take the passengers to London at around 3pm that day, but according to reports, 29 people were said to be so traumatised they refused to travel with the airline.
An investigation is ongoing. It is currently unclear why the plane filled with smoke.
In a statement, Ryanir said: "This flight from Bucharest to London (21 Jan) was delayed due to a minor technical issue with aircraft.
"To minimise the delay, customers boarded a replacement aircraft which was de-iced before it departed to London.
"Shortly after take-off, the aircraft returned to Bucharest as a precaution after the cabin crew reported an unidentified smoke in the cabin (which we believe was caused by the de-icing fluid being ingested through the air conditioning system).
"The crew notified local ATC and the aircraft landed normally at Bucharest, where it is being inspected by Ryanair engineers.
"Refreshment vouchers were provided and passengers boarded another replacement aircraft which departed for London Stansted shortly after. Ryanair sincerely apologised to affected customers for this delay."
Featured Image Credit: PA