A Qantas flight was forced to evacuate at Sydney Airport after “engineering issues”.
News of the evacuation first came through on Twitter, with passengers on the flight and loved ones of those on board taking to social media to report details of the incident.
A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the flight returned to Sydney Airport after take off due to a hydraulic issue, but the flight did not require an emergency landing.
“Once back at the gate, the captain made the decision to evacuate the aircraft as a precaution and three emergency slides were deployed,” the Qantas spokesperson said.
The Airbus A330-200 can carry up to 271 passengers.
“Passengers were evacuated through both the slides and normal exits,” the spokesperson said.
Ally Kemp who says she was on the flight described the experience as “terrifying”.
“Just had to evacuate my flight to Perth after engineering issues,” she wrote on Twitter.
Just had to evacuate my flight to Perth after engineering issues. Everyone had to exit the plane via slide onto Sydney tarmac after the cabin filled with smoke and the captain screamed evacuate. Terrifying.— Ally Kemp (@politic_ally) December 14, 2019
“Everyone had to exit the plane via slide onto Sydney tarmac after the cabin filled with smoke and the captain screamed evacuate.”
One man said his brother was on the Perth-bound flight.
“Smoke in cabin, passengers told to evacuate, flight crew could not taxi correctly after landing due to hydraulic issues, slides activated,” Richo Hannington said on Twitter.
He also shared a screenshot of the flight plan to Twitter, which shows the aircraft looped back to Sydney after just over an hour of being up in the air.
@Qantas flight #QF575 mid-flight hydraulic issue, landed back in Sydney, smoke in cabin, passengers told to evacuate, flight crew could not taxi correctly after landing due to hydraulic issues, slides activated.— Richo Hannington (@RichoHannington) December 14, 2019
Brother was on flight. @SevenPerth @Channel7 @abcnews @9NewsSyd pic.twitter.com/SzrzhbcxDh
Qantas flight QFA575 departed from Sydney at 8.25am (local time) on Sunday and the plane landed back at its origin at 9.27am.
One woman replied to Mr Hannington and said her daughter was on the flight and people were injured during descent.
Captain Debbie Slade, Qantas Fleet Safety Captain, addressed the media and said the smoke passengers saw was actually mist from the hydraulic system.
“The crew shutdown the APU, a small engine in the tail end of the aircraft which gives the air pumped through the air-conditioning system. They shut that down straightaway to remove the contaminant from the air,” Captain Slade said.
The spokeswoman said she believed some passengers complained of "itchy eyes" and "scratchy" throats after the incident.
Another man, going by the Twitter handle of @EVILH0MER, shared a photo of the Qantas plane, slides clearly visible, saying it was “turning out to be an eventful holiday” and said the cabin crew were “fantastic”.
The Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia engineers were inspecting the aircraft and more information would be available shortly.
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