Passenger jet makes safe Belfast emergency landing

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By PETER MORRISON, Associated Press

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — A passenger plane made a safe emergency landing Tuesday after developing technical problems, Belfast International Airport said.

The Thomas Cook Airbus A320, bound from Belfast to Tenerife, landed at around 1130 GMT (6:30 a.m. EDT), the airport said.

A spokeswoman from Thomas Cook, one of Britain's biggest tour operators, said that 175 people were on board the plane. She spoke on condition of anonymity, citing company policy,

A "minor technical difficulty with the landing gear" caused the pilot to turn back to the airport shortly after it took off, she said.

The plane circled over Northern Ireland to use up fuel before landing, as fire engines and ambulances waited on the runway.

The aircraft will be inspected by fire officials before passengers are allowed to disembark, the airport said.

All the passengers will return to the same plane at 3 p.m. and continue their journey to Tenerife, Thomas Cook said.

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