Passengers were evacuated from an aeroplane after reports of a fire – which turned out to be an optical illusion.
The KLM flight from Bristol to Amsterdam was grounded after an “incident” was reported on the runway.
The plane was due to take off at 6.15am, but shortly beforehand passengers were escorted off the plane while fire crews checked it over.
A spokesman for Avon Fire and Rescue Service said the rescue effort was sparked by an optical illusion.
He added: “At 6.04am, multiple crews from across the service area attended a fire involving an aircraft at Bristol International Airport.
“This was along with the fire crews from Bristol Airport. The fire was extinguished by airport crews and all passengers were safely evacuated.
“The turntable ladder was then used to inspect the aircraft.”
Passenger Michael Wilkinson wrote on Twitter: “A calm evacuation of the 06:15 BRS to AMS flight this morning.
“Fire engines scrambled. After an hour, the pilot came explained it was all an optical illusion from a tail wing light. Now we’re asked to get
back on the plane…”
In a statement, a spokesman for Bristol Airport added that the cause of the evacuation was thought to be “de-icing fluid at the back of the airport causing an optical illusion.”
The spokesman said: “A report was made of vapours being seen at the back of the KLM aircraft.
“A normal operational response and investigation completed.
“Bristol Airport remained operational throughout.
“Passengers disembarked the aircraft and returned to the boarding gate.
“After relevant checks, passengers re-boarded the aircraft and the flight departed to Amsterdam.
“The initial reports are that it was de-icing fluid at the back of the airport causing an optical illusion.”
Passengers were allowed back on to the aircraft around 7.30am, once the incident had been dealt with.