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222 passengers escape death as Singapore Airlines plane caught fire

By Wole Oyebade with agency report   |   28 June 2016   |   1:36 am
Foam on the tarmac of Changi Airport after firefighters put out a fire on the right wing of a Singapore Airlines aircraft while making an emergency landing after turning back from Milan due to engine problem …yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

Foam on the tarmac of Changi Airport after firefighters put out a fire on the right wing of a Singapore Airlines aircraft while making an emergency landing after turning back from Milan due to engine problem …yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

A Singapore Airlines plane bound for Milan yesterday caught fire while making an emergency landing at Singapore’s Changi Airport. The Boeing 777-300ER was on its way from Singapore to Milan when it turned back “following an engine oil warning message.”

The aircraft’s right engine caught fire after the aircraft touched down at Changi airport. Emergency services put out the fire and there were no injuries to the 222 passengers and 19 crew on board, the airline said in statement.

“Passengers disembarked through stairs and were transported to the terminal building by bus. Passengers will be transferred to another aircraft which is expected to depart for Milan later today,” the statement read in part.

The Singaporean flight, SQ368, departed at 2:05am, but about two hours into the flight the pilot announced there was an engine problem and the flight would return to Singapore, Channel News Asia reported.

Social media images and videos showed the 10-year-old aircraft’s right wing on fire as it stood on the runway after landing, and fire engines racing to it.

There appeared to be damage to the right wing and GE90 engine, which was manufactured by General Electric.

The aircraft’s pilots “followed the right procedures” by turning back once the problem was detected, dumping fuel on the way, and landing safely, said one analyst.

“When the plane slows down as you land, fuel can cling to the wing and surfaces. Sparks from the hot brakes after they landed could have the triggered the fire and it does appear quite dramatic. But they appear to have gotten that under control very quickly,” said Greg Waldron, Asia Managing Editor at Flightglobal, an industry publication.

“There don’t appear to be any procedural issues here.”

Singapore Airlines, which is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading airlines and is a benchmark for much of the industry, has not had any major incidents in recent years.




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