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Qantas flight forced to divert after mid-air emergency

Qantas flight forced to divert after mid-air emergency

A Qantas flight from Adelaide to Canberra was forced to divert to Melbourne following a mid-air emergency.

Passengers on the QF706 flight on Tuesday morning said the plane was at a cruising altitude when a loud bang was heard. Soon the oxygen masks were deployed from the ceiling and the alert message was played.

“It was a little bit surreal,” passenger Bodie Thorpe told the ABC.

“There was no sort of word as to what the problem was at the time, there was just a pre-recorded message on a loop that lasted for a couple of minutes after the masks dropped.”

Another passenger, Vikki Denny said the experience was “disconcerting”.

“They didn’t explain anything as far [as] what was occurring — they said this was an emergency procedure and there was a consistent alert going over the intercom,” said Denny.

“The whole time we were on descent the emergency intercom was going to remain seated, keep oxygen on, this was an emergency.”

However, Thorpe said the passengers on the cabin remained collected throughout the incident. 

“It was very organised and calm on board, no one seemed to be too afraid … it was very quiet and eerie for a while.”

The plane landed safely in Melbourne on Tuesday just after 8 am following the cabin “pressurisation issues”.

Qantas said all the passengers left the aircraft normally and will be transferred to other flights.

“Our pilots and cabin crew handled the incident in line with standard operating procedures,” said Alex Passerini, chief technical pilot captain at Qantas.  

“We would like to thank our customers who followed the crew instructions and remained calm during the diversion.

“The aircraft is currently being examined by engineers in Melbourne to determine the fault.”

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said it is considering a formal investigation into the incident. 

“The ATSB can confirm it has been notified of an occurrence this morning where a Boeing 737 on a flight from Adelaide to Canberra diverted to Melbourne due to reported pressurisation issues,” the ATSB said in a statement.

“The ATSB will gather information into the occurrence before making a decision on whether or not to formally investigate.”