Singapore Airlines flight catches fire after fuel leak forces emergency landing at Changi

Flight SQ368 departed with 222 passengers and 19 crew members was flying from Singapore to Milan, Italy.

A Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight to Milan caught fire on the runway at Changi Airport on Monday morning while making an emergency landing due to a fuel leak.

All the passengers on board the plane escaped unharmed. But since Runway 2 was closed after the accident, passengers who booked other morning flights had to face delays.

The flight SQ368 departed with 222 passengers and 19 crew members on board from Changi Airport Terminal 3 at around 2.05 am on Monday for Milan, Italy.

SIA said in a statement that the right engine of the plane caught fire after the aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER, touched down at the airport at around 6.50am. The flight turned back about two-and-a-half hours after taking off from the airport.

The Airport Emergency Service team, which was already on standby, extinguished the fire "within minutes". The firefighters sprayed foam and water on the plane and the fire was put out.

Lee Bee Yee, who was onboard the flight with her husband, said that there was a strong smell of fuel about two or three hours into the flight.

"The pilot subsequently informed us there was a leak, and that the plane would have to turn back to Changi Airport as it did not have enough fuel for the journey," Lee told AFP.

The SIA said: "Passengers disembarked through stairs and were transported to the terminal building by bus. Passengers will be transferred to another aircraft which is expected to depart for Milan at 9.30am today."

SIA apologised to all the passengers for the accident and made arrangements for light refreshments while they waited for their flight.

The airlines also said that it will be fully cooperating with the authorities in the investigations.