Cathay Pacific Emergency Landing: Pilot Thanks Passengers For Staying Calm
The flight, en route from Singapore to Jakarta, was forced to turn around following the blaze.
A Reuters photographer was aboard the flight with his family. He told the news organization that roughly 20 minutes after takeoff there were "two sharp bangs".
The plane began to shake violently, he told the news site, and the lights went out. He could smell something burning, he said.
His son looked out the window and saw fire. That's when people started praying audibly.
"Behind us, passengers were praying: 'God, save our flight! Give us your protection!'" He told Reuters.
"A stewardess told us an engine had caught fire and we were on our way back to Singapore. Glued to the window, my son said he could see lights, the sea and ships and then lights on the ground. We all grabbed life jackets from beneath our seats, but the plane landed smoothly. Within five minutes, as firefighters doused the damaged engine, we walked off the plane into the terminal."
Upon landing, the pilot thanked the passengers assembled in the airport's waiting room (see video below) for staying cool and calm.
In a statement, the airline said: "We can appreciate the concern and anxiety felt by the passengers during the incident, but our captain and his crew were in control of the situation at all times. They reacted exactly as they are trained to do, shut down the affected engine and returned the aircraft safely to Singapore."
The engines, powered by Rolls-Royce's Trent 700 engines, have had problems in the past. In November, a Qantas flight was near explosion after an engine blew apart.
WATCH Captain Bradley Chic talk to passengers below:
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