A plane carrying 468 people from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia made an emergency landing last Wednesday, May 15, 2024, due to an engine fire, said airline Garuda Indonesia, in the latest incident on the archipelago’s poor security record.

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The Indonesian flag carrier said that flight Garuda-1105 to Medina, operated by a Boeing 747-400, returned to its original airport in the Indonesian city from Makassar at 17:15 local time with all passengers unharmed.

“The decision was made by the pilot in command immediately after takeoff, considering engine problems that required further examination, after sparks of fire were observed in one of the engines,” Garuda President Director Irfan Setiaputra said in a statement.

There were 450 passengers and 18 crew members on the flight, Irfan said, including pilgrims for the hajj, the multi-day Muslim pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Everyone was redirected to accommodation before boarding a later replacement flight the same Wednesday to Saudi Arabia, he said.

Images published on social networks, which have not been verified by AFP, They showed that the plane’s engine caught fire during takeoff.

This plane was grounded for a safety investigation, Irfan said.

Other Boeing airplane accidents

The airline, 60 percent owned by the Indonesian state, suffered huge losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, grounding most of its fleet due to travel restrictions and decreased demand, and laying off hundreds of employees.

The Southeast Asian archipelago relies heavily on air transportation to connect its thousands of islands, but has suffered a series of fatal plane crashes in recent years.

Its dismal aviation record includes a accident in 2021 in which a Sriwijaya Air Boeing passenger plane sank mysteriously in the Java Sea after taking off from the capital Jakarta, killing all 62 people on board.

In March, Indonesia’s Transport Ministry said it had opened an investigation into the local airline Batik Air after it was discovered that two of its pilots had fallen asleep during a flight.

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Source: https://www.noticiascaracol.com/mundo/avion-boeing-con-468-personas-a-bordo-aterrizo-de-emergencia-en-indonesia-por-incendio-cb20

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