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Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific flight makes emergency return to Hong Kong after engine trouble

The airport declared an emergency status but no injuries among the 271 passengers were reported

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 February, 2018, 11:20pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 February, 2018, 1:25pm

A Cathay Pacific flight bound for Manila from Hong Kong made an emergency return to the airport soon after take-off because of engine issues on Thursday night. 

The twin-engined Airbus A330 aircraft landed at 9.55pm and no injuries were reported among the 271 passengers.

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An Airport Authority spokesman said it received an alert from the Civil Aviation Department’s air traffic control staff at 9.10pm stating that flight CX913, which took off at about 8.27pm, needed to return.

A “full emergency” was declared by the department, meaning that an aircraft is confirmed or suspected to be in trouble, with risk of an accident. 

The status will also trigger a full mobilisation of crews from the Fire Services Department to provide extra support on top of help provided by the Airport Fire Contingent.

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According to data from a flight tracking website, the plane started to turn back when it was over the South China Sea.

A Facebook user claiming to have witnessed the flight’s return at the airport said “an explosion” was seen and there were flames, followed by “some smaller explosions”. At least five ambulances were also spotted at the scene. 

The authority said operations at the airport were not affected.

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A Cathay spokeswoman said the incident was caused by a “technical issue with one of the aircraft’s engines”. 

The spokeswoman said another flight had been arranged for affected passengers. The departure time of the new flight depended on operations at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The full emergency status at Hong Kong International Airport was later lifted.