Binter Canarias has temporarily grounded an ATR 72 turboprop after an incident in Fuerteventura in which a firearm was accidentally discharged in the cockpit, holing the aircraft's fuselage.

While no official Binter spokesman could be reached for comment, a source at the Spanish regional airline confirms the incident occurred during the boarding process of flight NT221 from Fuerteventura to Gran Canaria two days ago.

A customs official flying on duty, following the established security procedures, handed over his firearm to the captain during the normal passenger boarding process.

For reasons which are “still under investigation”, the arm was apparently discharged by the captain while he was storing the gun, which was loaded and unsecured.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that the bullet, after perforating the ATR cockpit, ricocheted from a nearby empty TUIfly Boeing 737-800, although there was no damage to this aircraft and no injury to anyone on the ground.

After the incident, the ATR service was cancelled and its 41 passengers were rebooked to other flights. Binter expects to repair and return the aircraft to normal service "very soon".

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: Flight International