Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International airport was on high alert as a plane, Electra Air flight, performed emergency landing, Monday afternoon.
The Boeing 737 with a blown wheel, from Cologne, Germany, was carrying 152 passengers. Ground staff in Germany reported that tire pieces had been found on the runway after takeoff. The Israeli airport declared a level 3 emergency , the highest it can declare, for the first time in eight years. Israeli Air Force jets were scrambled to accompany the plane and inspect the damage to the landing gear. The plane followed a low flight pattern before landing so that the damage could be inspected by experts ahead of the anticipated landing. More than 100 ambulances were scrambled to the scene on Monday afternoon. After circling in a holding pattern to shed fuel, the 737 touched down at 4.25 PM local time, using engine braking to keep pressure off the tires. The plane has made a successful emergency landing. No injuries were reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Facebook: "Good news from Ben Gurion Airport. I salute the emergency and rescue forces and the air force for their outstanding preparations!" The aircraft is leased and it is based in Israel.