Air China passengers were forced to evacuate an Airbus A320neo when landing at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) after an engine caught fire.
Video footage shared on social media, including X (formerly Twitter), showed passengers using the emergency slides on the left-hand side of the aircraft, which was the same side where the aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engine had caught fire.
Another video shared on X showed the aircraft cabin filled with smoke.
According to flightradar24.com data, the Air China Airbus A320neo, registered as B-305J, was operating flight CA403 from Chengdu Tianfu International Airport (TFU), China, to SIN, on September 10, 2023, its first flight of the day.
12 minutes before landing at SIN, the A320neo began squawking 7700, the general emergency code, indicating that there was a problem on board the aircraft.
In a statement posted to X, SIN said that the aircraft encountered “smoke in the forward cargo hold and lavatory on route to Changi Airport”.
“The aircraft landed on Runway 3 at around 1615 hrs and all passengers and crew have evacuated safely. The fire in the left engine has been put out,” the airport statement continued.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) took to X to say that the airport’s “Runway 3 will be temporarily closed and flight operations may be affected”.
In a follow-up update on its website, the CAAS added that “all passengers and crew were evacuated safely and ferried by bus to the terminal”, with nine of the 149 passengers sustaining “minor injuries related to smoke inhalation and abrasions during the evacuation process”.
“The disabled aircraft was towed away at about 1800 hours. Runway 3 reopened at about 1902 hours, following runway checks. One aircraft was diverted to Batam, Indonesia, during the period of the runway closure,” the CAAS continued.
The authority said Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) will investigate the incident.
The Airbus A320neo remains at SIN at the time of publication.
According to ch-aviation.com data, Airbus delivered the A320neo to Air China on December 17, 2018, with it being leased from Bank of Communications Financial Leasing (Bocomm Leasing).
Since being delivered, the Airbus A320neo has amassed 9,244 Flight Hours (FH) and 3,967 Flight Cycles (FC) as of June 30, 2023.