Nine passengers were injured after an engine fire sent smoke into the cabin of an Air China jetliner landing in Singapore, prompting an evacuation of the aircraft.
“The Airbus A320 with 146 passengers and nine crew made an emergency landing about 4.15pm Sunday,” Changi Airport said in a statement on its Facebook page. The flight was coming from the city of Chengdu in China's Sichuan province.
“Nine people had minor injuries related to smoke inhalation and abrasions during the evacuation,” the statement said. The pilot declared an emergency after reporting smoke in the forward cargo hold and a lavatory.
“Smoke blurred the lights in the cabin and flight attendants told people to remain calm and stay in their seats after some stood up,” a passenger told Chinese media. “The fire in the left engine was extinguished after the plane landed,” Chinese media said.
“A preliminary investigation indicated a mechanical failure in the engine was the cause,” Air China said in statement posted on social media early Monday. The investigation was continuing.
China has dramatically improved air safety following a series of deadly crashes in the 1990s and early 2000s as the airline industry boomed. A rare exception was a China Eastern Airlines jetliner that plunged into a mountainside in March 2022, killing all 132 people aboard.