A Qantas A380 en route from London via Singapore to Sydney had a catastrophic engine failure 15 minutes into its flight. After departing Singapore, passengers reported hearing a loud “bang” followed by showers of sparks from one of its engines. Looking out the window, people on board the super jumbo could see parts of the engine skin peeled off, exposing foam and broken wires.
The engine parts started raining down on Batam, Indonesia – some as large as a door. There are thankfully no reports of injuries on the ground.
Despite the horrific looking damage, jetliners are designed to fly on 50% of their engines, so the plane was not at risk of crashing, though the cause of the blown Rolls-Royce engine will certainly be one that requires very close examination.
The plane circled Singapore to dump fuel in preparation for an emergency landing, which happened without incident. Because of the seriousness of the engine failure, Qantas grounded their entire A380 fleet.
In searching for a cause, one expert pointed to a volcanic eruption in Indonesia, and investigators will most certainly be looking very closely at the engine parts to determine whether volcanic ash may have contributed to the accident.
[Photo: Getty Images]