Manila: A Gulf Air flight carrying 219 people to Bahrain landed safely in the Philippine capital today after turning back because of a heat-damaged engine, officials said. The Airbus 330-200 ignited a grass fire at the edge of the runway as it took off and smoke was seen inside the cabin after the plane was airborne, said Ma Fe Malte, an airport traffic management officer.
Gulf Air on Twitter said the flight “suffered from an engine failure” right after takeoff from Manila at 1:05 p.m. It said the plane landed safely “and all passengers disembarked the aircraft.” It said engineers were examining the aircraft now. Flight 155 had 207 passengers and 12 crew members, and no injuries were reported, Malte said. Floramina Munzon, a passenger who was seated near the left wing, said she heard something like an explosion after the plane lifted from the ground.
As the twin-engine jet landed safely, the airport’s rescue team and firetrucks rushed to the plane. It dumped fuel before landing, but there were no flames and no need to use fire retardant, Malte said. She said the left engine was damaged by the intense heat. The airline canceled the flight and booked accommodation for affected passengers, the airport media office said. Gulf Air is Bahrain’s state airline. In May, a flight on the same route diverted to Mumbai after encountering turbulence that injured some onboard. (AP)
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