El Al Flight Makes Emergency Landing Following Smoke in Cabin

El Al: Smell caused by short-circuit; no danger posed to crew, 144 passengers of flight 396 from Madrid.

A brief state of emergency was ordered Ben Gurion International Airport on Monday after smoke was reported in the cabin of El AL flight 396 from Madrid.

Firefighting forces and rescue teams were hastened to the airport ahead of the plane's landing, and escorted the airliner - a Boeing 767 carrying 144 passengers - to the passenger terminal.

An El Al spokesperson reported that the smell of smoke was caused by an electrical short-circuit in the plane's air conditioning system.

An El Al press release said that "half an hour before the flight's landing the pilots reported a strange smell originating from the plane's air conditioning system. The pilots notified the control tower and the airport followed the procedures for such situations?there was no danger posed to the passengers, crew and aircraft."

This is the second such incident in under two months. A Transport Ministry investigation of a similar incident revealed that the flight crew failed to follow due protocol in evacuting passengers.

In the previous incident, which occurred in March, smoke filled the cabin of a Zurich-bound El Al Boeing 737 jetliner during takeoff, causing the takeoff to be aborted and the 120 passengers evacuated.