Qantas jet hit by engine blaze
A Qantas Boeing 747 with 431 people on board has landed safely in Singapore after an engine caught fire minutes after it took off from the city-state, the airline said.
The problem arose just a day after a Qantas Airbus A380 superjumbo jet made an emergency landing at the same airport due to an engine blow-out.
"There was a loud bang and a jet of fire from the back of the engine," said Andrew Jenkins, a 43-year-old Australian banker.
Jenkins, who was sitting at the back of the plane, said he could see the engine clearly. The blast happened "one or two minutes" into the flight when the plane had climbed about 2,000ft, according to Jenkins.
"We all realised that it was clear that there was a problem," he said. "When we realised that everything was under control, everyone was very calm."
The captain stabilised the plane and came on the public address system to announce that he was returning to Singapore, Jenkins said.
Qantas said in a statement later that flight QF6 from Singapore to Sydney had an issue with its number 1 engine. It said the captain of the jumbo jet sought priority clearance to return to Singapore as a precaution. There were 412 passengers, three flight crew and 16 cabin crew.
After the aircraft returned to Singapore, the passengers were taken in a bus to a hotel for an overnight stay. They are expected to leave on Saturday.
Flight QF6 is a Boeing 747-400, which is fitted with four Rolls-Royce RB211-524G-T engines. The daily flight operates between Frankfurt and Sydney with a stopover in Singapore.
After the Airbus A380 emergency landing on Thursday, Qantas grounded its fleet of A380s and other airlines made checks of their planes which have the same Rolls-Royce engine. The A380 shed debris from the busted engine onto the thickly populated Indonesian island of Batam.