This morning’s Singapore Airlines flight SQ368 from Singapore to Milan turned around two and a half hours into the flight due to a fuel leak. The plane’s wing caught fire upon landing back in Singapore.
“The pilot said he was going to turn back because the engine is leaking oil on the right side. The captain said that they cannot turn on that side of the engine or else the plane will be vibrating. And they can’t fly like this to Milan…That’s why they turned back,” she said.
…After the plane landed in Singapore at about 7am, the passengers cheered and clapped. Then, there was a spark and there were “huge flames” from the right side of the plane, she said.
Here’s video of the fire from inside the plane:
Passengers were told to stay seated while fire fighters arrived to put out the fire. The plane was sprayed with water and foam. The fire was extinguished and passengers deplaned via air stairs. No one was hurt.
Here’s video of the fire being extinguished from a distance:
When I first saw this incident it struck me as one of the scariest things imaginable. While by no means an expert in aircraft fires, my fear was that the fire could have spread more quickly, and engulfed the passenger cabin. I’d have wanted to get out as quickly as possible. Yet it was deemed more dangerous to evacuate the aircraft on the other side while the fire was in progress, so they extinguished it first.
I’ll be fascinated to learn more about the decision here — who made it and what factors were being considered. Ultimately it turned out to be the correct one since no one was hurt.
(HT: Johnny D.)