An Air China flight made an emergency landing in Singapore’s busy Changi Airport on Sunday after its left engine caught fire and nine passengers sustained minor injuries due to smoke inhalation and abrasions during the evacuation process.
The incident prompted airport authorities to close one of the three runways and divert a plane, media reports said.
The CA403 flight from Chengdu in Sichuan province “encountered smoke” in its forward cargo hold and lavatory on its way to Changi Airport on Sunday, Channel News Asia reported.
The Airbus A320 aircraft, which flew from Tianfu International Airport at 11:05 am, landed at Changi’s Runway 3 at around 4:15 pm, with all passengers and crew members evacuated safely.
”On September 10 at 1559 hours, an Air China flight (CA403) flying to Singapore Changi Airport from Chengdu, China, reported smoke in the forward cargo hold and lavatory, declared an emergency and requested priority landing,” the Changi airport posted on X.
”The Airport Emergency Service (AES) responded immediately to the incident and put out a fire in the left engine of the aircraft at about 1625 hours. There were 146 passengers and 9 crew on board. All passengers and crew were evacuated safely and ferried by bus to the terminal,” it said.
Nine passengers sustained minor injuries related to smoke inhalation and abrasions during the evacuation process. They have since been attended to. Air China and Changi Airport Group are providing assistance to all passengers and crew, it said.
The aircraft was towed away at about 6pm, and the runway – one of three at Changi Airport – reopened just after 7 pm, after checks were done.
”One aircraft was diverted to Batam, Indonesia, during the period of the runway closure,” said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
Changi Airport earlier said that flight operations might be affected and advised passengers to check its website or app for the latest information on their flights.
Air China and Changi Airport Group are assisting passengers and crew on CA403, while Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau is investigating the incident and has contacted its Chinese counterpart to assist.
In January this year, a Scoot flight was forced to return to the gate shortly before take-off, after a power bank caught fire and injured two passengers.