International

Virgin Australia Flight's Engine Shoots Flames Amid 'Bird Strike', Lands Safely At New Zealand Airport

A passenger on the plane said that it had been hit by a bird strike, adding that the passenger announced it over the public address system.

X/@fl360aero
Visuals from the moment VA flight's engine threw flames. Photo: X/@fl360aero
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A Virgin Australia, Boeing 737-800, Melbourne-borne plane landed safely at a New Zealand airport after one of its engines caught fire and shut down, the nation's fire service said.

The flight landed at Invercargill after the fire forced it to be diverted from its path, the Associated Press reported.

The terrifying moment of the plane's engine bursting into flames was caught on camera, with witnesses describing the chilling scenes, saying that it sounded like the plane was "coming apart", the Mirror reported.

The incident on the VA148 flight reportedly left a passenger and a crew member injured. Residents from underneath the plane's path captured the moments the engine was on fire.

One of the witnesses describe the situation and said, "Sounded like it was coming apart over our house. One engine was throwing flames and sputtering out."

Speaking to New Zealand Herald, another passenger said, "It was making one hell of a pulsing/throbbing noise out of one engine then it was shooting flames out, maybe hit a bird? It continued climbing and the noise and flame stopped."

The Mirror, citing reports, said that 73 persons were aboard the aircraft at the time of the incident.

Meanwhile, a passenger on the plane said that it had been hit by a bird strike, adding that the passenger announced it over the public address system.

Notably, at the time of the emergency landing at Invercargill Airport, the flight had "no visible flames", the NZ Herald's report said.

Reportedly, Virgin Australia chief operations officer, Stuart Aggs, said, "Virgin Australia flight VA148 from Queenstown to Melbourne diverted to Invercargill Airport and landed safely following a possible bird strike on take-off this evening."

The update on the issue on the flight, the engine's fire and safe landing updates were also provided to the people on Queenstown Airport's Facebook page.

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