SINGAPORE: Flames engulfed the wing of a Singapore Airlines plane after it made an emergency landing at the city’s main airport on Monday, with dramatic footage showing plumes of black smoke billowing from the aircraft.
The carrier said the Boeing 777-300ER en route for Milan turned back about two hours into the flight from Changi Airport following an engine oil warning message.
The blaze was put out by airport emergency services and there were no injuries to the 222 passengers and 19 crew on board, SIA said in a statement.
One passenger, who posted video footage of the incident apparently shot from a window seat, described the tense moments waiting for emergency crews to control the blaze as a “so-close to death” experience.
For several moments, the video showed the plane’s right wing ablaze before the view was completely obscured by foam as firefighters battled the fire.
The wing was left blackened and melted after the fire was extinguished.
“After reaching Changi Airport, as the plane was landing, the engine burst into flames!!!! Huge fire was burning!” Facebook user Lee Bee Yee said in a post accompanying the video clip.
“It was a heart wrenching 5 mins! Waiting for the fire engine and fire fighters to put out the fire! They shot foam and water into the fire and eventually it was put out!” Lee added. “I thank God I am alive! I going home to hug my kids.”
SIA said in a statement Flight SQ368, powered by a GE Aviation engine, was en route from Singapore to Milan when an engine oil warning message forced it to turn back to the city-state about one hour and 45 minutes into the flight.
“The aircraft’s right engine caught fire after the aircraft touched down at Changi Airport at around 6:50 a.m.,” it said. “Passengers disembarked through stairs and were transported to the terminal building by bus.”
The airline said it would “be cooperating fully with the authorities in their investigations.”
Passengers were transferred to another flight that left for Milan at 10:30 a.m. Singapore time, a spokesman told Agence France-Presse.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong put up a Facebook post thanking Changi Airport and SIA for their quick response.
“Relieved that all onboard were safely disembarked … SQ and CAAS (Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore) are investigating the cause, and will get to the bottom of the matter,” he wrote.