A Singapore Airlines flight heading to Milan from Singapore had to return to Changi Airport to make an emergency landing.
Flight SQ368 left Changi at around 2:25 a.m. Singapore time on June 27. While already in the air, the Boeing 777-300ER's pilot decided to head back for an emergency landing due to an engine oil warning message.
The airplane touched the runway at around 6:50 a.m., with the passengers even clapping as the aircraft did what appeared at the time to be a safe emergency landing. After what would have been a few hours of tension, the passengers would have been relieved to know that they made it safely back on the ground.
However, seconds after, the airplane's right wing and engine caught fire, with the flames covering the aircraft's right side.
The fire was extinguished almost immediately afterward by airport employees. No injuries were reported from the incident among the 19 crew members and 222 passengers that the aircraft was carrying, though they had to wait for several minutes while the fire was being taken under control. It took emergency services workers about 10 minutes to put out the blaze.
According to Lee Bee Yee, one of the passengers of Flight SQ368, the pilot decided to turn back toward Singapore about over two hours into the trip. After about three hours since the airplane departed, she said that she started to smell gasoline.
"It was a heart wrenching 5 mins! Waiting for the fire engine and fire fighters to put out the fire! They shot foam and water into the fire and eventually it was put out! We were so close to death!" she wrote in a Facebook post regarding the incident.
All the passengers, however, were able to remain calm despite the fire that developed on the airplane's right side. After the fire was taken out, the passengers disembarked through the stairs and were taken back to the airport's terminal building through a bus.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Singapore Airlines said that the passengers would be transferred to another aircraft bound for Milan within the day. The company also said that it is now working with the authorities in the investigation of the incident.
The fiery engine on Flight SQ368 ended on a good note, with all the passengers safe and sound. Another recent aviation incident, EgyptAir Flight MS804, was not as fortunate, as the aircraft went off radar in its trip from Paris to Cairo. No survivors were found, and the incident is still undergoing investigation.