Australia-bound plane's engine catches fire mid-air, lands in New Zealand | World News - Hindustan Times
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Australia-bound plane's engine catches fire mid-air, lands in New Zealand

Jun 17, 2024 03:14 PM IST

The plane headed to Melbourne, had to make an emergency stop at Invercargill, New Zealand, after an engine caught on fire

A passenger plan from Queenstown to Melbourne has safely made an emergency landing in Invercargill, New Zealand after one of it's engines caught on fire, according to the New Zealand fire service.

Representative image: Engine catches fire midflight, Australia bound plane lands safely in New Zealand (AP Photo/Frederic Scheiber, File)(AP)
Representative image: Engine catches fire midflight, Australia bound plane lands safely in New Zealand (AP Photo/Frederic Scheiber, File)(AP)

News agency PTI reported that the Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 plane was forced to make a diversion when a fire shut down an engine mid-air. Announcement of the diversion and safe landing were made through the Queenstown Airport's X account as well.

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According to a PTI report, Lynn Crosson, shift supervisor for Fire and Emergency New Zealand said that the fire trucks met the plane as it arrived in Invercargill about 50 minutes after takeoff from Queenstown.

A spokesperson for Queenstown Airport, Catherine Nind, said that the cause of the engine fire and the number of passengers on board the plane were not immediately known.

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Virgin Australia said in an emailed statement that the incident may have been caused by “a possible bird strike”. Users on X who were supposedly aboard the flight have also stated that the plane faced bird strikes soon after it took flight.

According to a study by the University of Nebraska, bird strikes cause 1.2 billion dollars of damage to the commercial aviation industry, due to diversions and accidents caused by them.

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According to the New Zealand Herald, there were witnesses to the engine catching fire, and ‘loud bangs’ could be heard after the plane took off.

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