Qantas flight forced to turn back to San Francisco after engine explodes

by William ASTON on September 1, 2010

An explosion on Monday left a gaping hole in a Qantas aircraft engine while it was mid flight headed for Sydney.

Carrying 212 passengers, the flight left San Francisco late Monday evening only to have the engine explode while over the Pacific Ocean. Qantas Flight 74 was then forced to turn back for an emergency landing in San Francisco.

According to passenger Nolan Goldstein, there was a thud, and then a bump and the plane swerved to the left. Pilots maintained control by circling over the Pacific twice to reduce weight and then immediately headed back to San Francisco. A spokesman for Qantas said that sparks from the plane were the result of an engine surge, but he maintained that there was never any actual fire onboard the aircraft.

Airport duty manager at the San Francisco airport, Carol Spear said that the plane was successfully landed safely just after midnight and there were no reported injuries. She also stated that Qantas reimbursed the passengers with accommodation for the night and all passengers would be leaving again for Sydney today. It was unknown if passengers walked off the plane or had to utilise the emergency evacuation chutes.

Pending an investigation, it is not yet clear as to what caused the engine malfunction, but Qantas is expected to look into the matter.

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