Malaysia Airlines plane dumps fuel, lands in Melbourne after engine fire

Photo: Malaysia Airlines

A Malaysia Airlines flight bound for Kuala Lumpur has returned safely to Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport after an engine fire alert.

The Airbus A330 twin-engine jet with 300 passengers on board, was mid-air when a safety warning went off indicating overheat in the plane’s right engine.

The MH148 crew had to follow the procedure to dump fuel over Melbourne’s suburbs while cycling to get down to within the landing weight limit as the plane had just taken off with nearly full tanks.

Fuel dumping is a safe procedure used in emergency situations and most of the fuel evaporates before reaching the ground.

“#MH148 landed safely after fire in starboard engine, per Melbourne FD. Fire out, all safe,” tweeted Flightradar 24.

Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) confirmed that emergency services were called out to the airport at 2.22 pm but could not provide further details.

Melbourne Airport said that the aircraft landed safely without any incident.

“All operations at the Melbourne Airport continue as normal,” it said in a post on Facebook.

“MH148 MEL-KUL made an air-turn back and landed uneventfully. The aircraft is being grounded for investigation. More details to follow,” Malaysia Airlines said in a tweet.

However, there was no official confirmation of fire after the aircraft was checked by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau inspectors following landing.

Malaysia Airlines also said “Preliminary inspection on the aircraft reveals no physical evidence of fire externally”.

The cash-strapped state-owned airline had two major air disasters last year.

Beijing-bound flight MH370 carrying 239 people mysteriously vanished on March 8, 2014 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur.

Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine in July last year, killing all 298 on board.

The carrier has unveiled plans to “re-invent” itself beginning from September 1, with an unspecified new brand and structure as it seeks to shed the stigma of horror incidents.