Serge Pauwels and Julien Vermote were returning back to Amsterdam from Cape Town from a team training camp when they faced a mid-flight terrifying experience.
They both described the moments of their routine flight as horrifying after fire alarms were triggered.
Eventually, their KLM flight had to undergo an emergency landing in Nice after plane technicians discovered that a fire was broken out in the hold while the plane was crossing over the Mediterranean.
“The stewardesses had just served breakfast, but quickly had to clear it,” Pauwels told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.
“Not much later the pilot announced that the smoke sensors had gone off in the luggage compartment and that we would make an emergency landing in Nice.”
A rapid Descent to Nice
According to flight data, the Boeing 777 was cruising at 34,000ft before they detected the ‘fire’. Apparently, the fire alarm was later declared as a false one. This was the moment all the panicking begun to take place among the passengers including the two Dimension Data riders who soon discovered they had to make a rapid descent towards Nice.
“It was frightening. I was at the emergency exit. Which meant that the stewardess was sat right in front of me and heard her praying. I just thought I would not make it to 34 years old,” Pauwels added.
Finally, in less than 20 minutes, the riders, and the rest of the passengers, were back on the ground. Vermote later described the horrifying experience as “not the most pleasant quarter of an hour in my life.”