AN AIRCRAFT with 58 passengers was forced to turn back around to make an emergency landing after one of the engines caught fire.
The AirAsia Airbus A320 had taken off from Male in the Maldives bound for Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport last night at 8:25pm local time.
But moments after taking the air, terrified passengers head ”loud banging noises” from the engine followed by a streak of bright flames.
According to local media Mihaaru in the Maldives, witnesses claimed that an engine of the plane was on fire after taking off.
Pilots immediately closed the engine and stopped their climb at around 5,000ft.
They circled several times before making an emergency landing at the Male International Airport around 15 minutes after the initial departure.
AirAsia said in a statement today that there was a ”technical problem” while taking off.
They said: “The aircraft encountered a technical issue during takeoff, upon which the pilots turned back and requested a priority landing at Male’s Velana International Airport, in line with standard operating procedures.
”The pilot asked to return to the Male International Airport and arrived safely at 8:41pm.
”Fifty-eight passengers were safe and taken care of with food and drinks and the airline provided them with hotel rooms.
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”They will be able to depart the Maldives today on a new flight and will arrive in Bangkok at 7:10pm local time.
”We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
The aircraft has now been taken in for maintenance.
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