Qantas landing: 'Happy to be alive'

Qantas passenger Mike Tooke talks about the moment the plane's engine exploded

An Australian Airbus A380 superjumbo has made an emergency landing in Singapore after experiencing engine trouble following take-off.

Passengers have been telling the BBC what they saw.

Lars Sandberg from Glasgow, UK

Everything was going smoothly in the first 15 minutes and then there was a sharp bang. I thought some metal container fell down in the cargo area, but the carriage started to vibrate and there was a bit of a smoke.

Airbus A380 passenger Lars Sandberg told the BBC he was ''just glad to be alive''

I was sitting right next to engine two. People around me were visibly shaken and we all realised that whatever happened wasn't normal. There was a mother with two children who was quite worried.

I travel by plane every weekend and I was surprised by that noise. The captain admitted there was a problem, but he kept reassuring us, almost every couple of minutes, that they are looking into it and that things are OK.

We started slowing down. We were told that we needed to circle around for a bit, to burn some of the fuel, as the plane was too heavy to land.

The landing was quite smooth, although the plane felt a bit heavy. When we landed there was fuel leaking from the plane, something ignited and blew the case of the engine.

When we got off and saw the engine itself and the back casing burnt off, that was pretty scary.

Start Quote

Lars Sandberg

I'm just happy to be alive and safe in the terminal building”

End Quote

It was a nerve-wracking experience and I feel a little bit shaken up. I was at first annoyed that I can't get to Brisbane for my tour, but now I am relieved I am still here.

The captain did the right checks - everything by the book and we are all here because of that.

We are now sitting back in the terminal where we were gathered to get on the plane. We missed the next plane to Australia, so they are going to put us in a hotel.

The atmosphere is easygoing, people are watching television - we've been on the news. There have been reporters taking photos of us. Passengers were also taking photos of the plane after we landed, as a memento.

I'm just happy to be alive and safe in the terminal building.

Matt Hewitt from Cheshire, UK

I travelled on the same plane from London Heathrow. We touched down in Singapore to refuel. After we took off, we all heard a bang, followed by some turbulence and then another, louder bang. There was some smoke and some people saw some flashing.

Qantas A380 plane after emergency landing at Singapore airport, 4 November 2010 Passenger Mike Tooke took this photo straight after landing

People were quite worried and those sitting on the left hand side noticed a hole in the left wing. They started taking photos and people who couldn't reach were passing their cameras to those who could take a photo for them.

We couldn't see the damage of the engine that TV images showed later. We could only see the hole in the wing and this picture is yet to make it onto the news.

The atmosphere was very calm, because it was handled very well. There was no big panic.

They had to release fuel to lighten the load of the plane in order to land. In fact, fuel was still leaking as we reached the runway and touched down. The first engine (not the broken one) on the same wing kept spinning around.

They tried to shut it down, but for some reason, they couldn't. They had to get the fire brigade to blow water into the engine.

I was never worried. I studied engineering at university. I knew that as long as the wings stayed intact, we'll be fine.

Ulf Waschbusch from Singapore

Start Quote

Ulf Waschbusch

I felt like I was watching a Hollywood movie, but I was actually in it”

End Quote

I was sitting near the engine that blew.

It was a normal take-off. But five or six minutes into the flight I heard a loud bang on the left hand side of the plane.

I saw debris coming out of one of the engines and flares for a few seconds.

I felt like I was watching a Hollywood movie, but I was actually in it.

There was no panic on board because Qantas kept us informed all the time.

They also explained why they were dumping fuel.

Qantas A380 plane in flight with hole in its wing, 4 November 2010 Ulf Waschbusch took this shot of the hole in the plane's wing

The plane landed OK. But it stopped at the end of the runway because engine two had a fuel leak that was leaking onto the tarmac.

We had to stay on the plane for about 30 minutes. Everything was shut off that could cause the fuel to ignite, for example, the air conditioning.

Engine one kept running. The pilot wasn't able to shut it off, so it was blasted with water to blow the engine.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Asia-Pacific stories

RSS

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.