Plane lands safely with 102 people on board
Engineers examining aircraft following incident
Australia’s Perth airport was at the center of a dramatic airplane evacuation Friday after the cockpit and passenger cabin began to fill with fumes and smoke.
The Qantas Link Fokker 100 flight was traveling from Newman to Perth with 97 passengers and five crew on board.
Emergency services were on the scene when the plane touched down at 11:36 a.m. local time.
“At 11:50 a.m. local time this morning the Western Australia (WA) Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) received a call from Perth Airport’s fire service that a Qantas Link Fokker 100 had declared an emergency, with 102 people on board,” a WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson told CNN.
“The Airport declared a full emergency and DFES responded for assistance with 10 crew,” the spokesperson said. “All 102 people on the plane were evacuated safely after reports of fumes in the cockpit and the cabin filling with smoke. No dangerous goods were detected on board.”
Ross Jenkins, who was among the passengers on the plane, told PerthNow he could smell a kerosene-like substance but saw no smoke.
“We landed right at the tail end of the airport which I thought was unusual,” he said. “We came down a bit steeper than what we would normally.
“The cabin crew were told to man their stations then I heard ‘evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.’
“The captain said ‘evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.’
“We slid down the wing and I helped a couple of ladies down. There was no sign of any smoke.
“It was all pretty controlled and we were moved to a clear paddock away from any immediate danger. They (the crew) sensed the risk and did the right thing.”
Perth Airport confirmed the incident on Twitter: “Perth Airport confirms that Qantas QF1623, an F100 aircraft with 102 passengers on board, has landed safely.”
Qantas released a similar statement saying “All passengers and crew are safe and accounted for. No emergency landing was requested by the pilots however emergency services are in attendance as a normal precaution.”
A later statement confirmed that engineers were inspecting the aircraft following the incident.
Samantha Beech in Atlanta contributed to this report