|Passengers eyeview of the offending de-icer unit, and the airside buses lined up to take the offloaded passengers beck to the terminal, the aircraft taken out of service for engineering checks following damage caused by the de-icer unit.|
Passengers were on board the already-delayed flight. Alan Whiteside, operations director at the airport, said the flight was cancelled due to damage to the plane.
Speaking to BBC's Good Morning Ulster programme Mr Whiteside said de-icing takes place "in very close proximity" to the aircraft - with a member of staff driving the vehicle and a second applying the de-icer.
"Unfortunately, on this occasion, it came into contact with the plane," he said. Alarmingly he added: "It doesn't take much to damage an aircraft....." then hastily adding:
"Any damage at all will be of concern to the engineers and they will err on the side of caution."
Mr Whiteside said there was "never any danger to the passengers or any crew".
An EasyJet spokesperson said the safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew was always the carrier's highest priority.
"The captain kept the passengers informed and they were given the option of being rebooked onto the next available flight, or obtain a refund," said the spokesperson.
Passengers were offered meals and hotel accommodation if required, and the company has apologised for any inconvenience caused.
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