Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Qantas A380 was forced to shut down one of its engines and make an emergency landing at Singapore's Changi Airport.

Qantas engine explosion
The full extent of the explosion can be seen from this photo of the Qantas A380. Picture: Rodrigo BNO
The Qantas plane was carrying 433 passengers onboard. Picture: Twitter user Samhighley
Witnesses reportedly saw an explosion. Picture: Twitter user Twitter1
QANTAS has suspended all of its A380 aircraft services after one of its jets made a dramatic emergency landing in Singapore, the carrier's chief executive Alan Joyce has announced.
"We have decided that we will suspend all A380 takeoffs until we are fully comfortable that sufficient information has been obtained about QF32," he said this afternoon.

"We will suspend those A380 services until we are completely confident that Qantas safety requirements have been met."

A Qantas A380 was forced to shut down one of its engines and make an emergency landing at Singapore's Changi Airport.
QF32, carrying 433 passengers and 26 crew, was bound for Sydney when the engine failed.

The plane then dumped its fuel over Indonesia's Batam Island, opposite Singapore, before landing in Singapore.
Gallery Pictures: Damaged Qantas A380
It is understood the drama began when the jet was just six minutes out of Singapore.

Multiple error messages displayed in the cockpit warned of a major engine problem and the pilot shut the engine down.

The pilot also issued a "Pan" alert - one step short of a Mayday - telling other aircraft in the area and authorities on the ground that it had struck trouble.
Six fire engines immediately swarmed the aircraft as soon is it landed on the tarmac on Changi Airport.
"Qantas flight QF32 was en route from Singapore to Sydney, the number two engine has shut down, so as a precautionary measure we are taking it back to Singapore," a Qantas spokeswoman said.
One passenger aboard the plane said there was a loud boom and a fire on the superjumbo's wing shortly after it took off.

"We heard the boom, I looked outside and saw a little bit of fire," German national Ulf Waschbusch said after he disembarked from the plane.

"Something ruptured the left wing, it was a small rupture," said the passenger, a technology company executive based in Singapore who was heading to Sydney on holiday.

Indonesia newspaper Kompas earlier reported the plane had exploded mid-air near Batam.

Witnesses said the explosion had been very loud and they had seen flames coming from the plane.

"Before the parts started falling I heard a very loud explosion," one witness, Devi, told the local Antara news agency.

"It sounded like a bomb."

Another witness described hearing a screeching sound before the explosion, and said Batam residents came out of their homes to observe the high-tech superjumbo circling as it used up its fuel before attempting to land.

"I was driving near a residential estate when suddenly I heard a thunderous braking sound," 35-year-old driver Ricky, 35, said.

"I thought it was an explosion but when I looked up I saw a plane going round and round and there was smoke coming out of its tail.

"Then three or four pieces of metal fell from the sky, each not longer than a metre. They fell into a field."

Batam police officer Bobby Baharudin said debris was "scattered over Batam".

"Most of it fell in residential areas. There's a part that looks like a door and shards of aluminum," he said.
Tatang Kurnia, head of Indonesia's Transportation Safety Board, said the explosion came from a Qantas plane that had just lifted off from Singapore.
"We've been informed from Singapore that a Qantas plane overflying the area defuelled and then made an emergency landing back in Singapore," he told MetroTV.

A Qantas statement said: "In line with procedure, the pilot sought priority clearance for its return to Singapore. The aircraft landed safely at 11.45am local time.

"Some media reports suggested the aircraft had crashed. These reports are incorrect. No Qantas aircraft has crashed."
- With AAP, AFP

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