Air China: Emergency Landing
Air China found itself making an unexpected emergency landing at Changi Airport as one of its engines caught fire.
On Sunday evening, September 10th, an Air China flight en route from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, had to make an emergency landing at Singapore’s Changi Airport due to an engine fire.
The incident resulted in the closure of Changi Airport’s runway for approximately three hours, causing delays for all incoming and outgoing flights.
The Unfolding Situation
At 11:05 local time on April 16, Flight CA403, carrying 146 passengers and nine staff members, took off from Tianfu Airport in Chengdu.
The aircraft in question was an Air China A320neo, registered as B-305J, as per the flight tracking website Flightradar24.com.
During the flight to Changi, the airplane reported the presence of smoke in its forward cargo area and lavatory. At approximately 15:59 local time, the pilot declared an emergency and requested a swift landing.
Mr. Song, a passenger, recounted that the fire broke out during the final 40 minutes of the flight, according to The Straits Times.
Despite occupying a window seat, Song remained unaware that the airplane’s engine was on fire. However, he did detect a distinctive odor throughout the incident, reminiscent of a blend of rubber and machinery.
“Nevertheless, I wasn’t overly alarmed because the flight wasn’t experiencing significant turbulence,” added Song.
Cabin crew members instructed passengers to lower their heads, cover their mouths and noses, and assume a protective posture. All passengers complied with these instructions, with some even capturing photos.
Air China: Crisis Management at Changi Airport
The Changi Airport Emergency Service (AES) managed to extinguish the fire by around 16:25 local time.
In another video, passengers can be seen coughing and evacuating the aircraft via emergency slides. AES fire trucks were also on the scene.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) reported that nine Air China passengers sustained injuries, including smoke inhalation and minor cuts and scrapes, during the evacuation.
“Since then, they have received care. Air China and Changi Airport Group (CAG) have been assisting all passengers and crew,” stated the CAAS.
The aircraft is finally removing from the runway at around 18:00. Due to the runway closure of over three hours, several flights are rerouting to alternative airports, including one flight directed to Batam Airport in Indonesia.
The Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau swiftly initiated an investigation into the incident. As part of its inquiry, the bureau revealed that it had reached out to its Chinese counterparts for assistance.