WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- The Polish pilot of a Boeing airliner that made an emergency landing with 231 people on board says he felt "huge relief" when he learned that all his passengers had safely evacuated the plane.
Capt. Tadeusz Wrona made his first public comments on Wednesday, a day after he landed the plane on its belly at Frederic Chopin International Airport, gaining himself instant hero status in Poland.
"When I stopped on the runway, I still was not sure that everyone was safe because smoke and some burning from friction appeared on the ground," Wrona told reporters at a news conference. "I felt huge relief when the head flight attendant reported that the plane was evacuated."
The daily Super Express splashed the title "Miracle at Okecie" on its front page. Okecie is the Warsaw suburb where the Frederic Chopin International Airport is located. The 767 had to make an emergency landing after its landing gear failed to open.
The landing was so smooth that some passengers thought they had landed on wheels, and the pilot Capt. Tadeusz Wrona is being hailed as a hero in Poland and online.
Though some sparks and small fires erupted on landing, they were immediately put out and nobody was injured.