Passengers tell of plane terror as engine fault fills cabin with smoke

Passengers have spoken of their terror after smoke filled the cabin of their aircraft and the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing. They described how smoke started swirling around their feet as an engine failed aboard the Jetstar fight from Sydney to Cairns. “The most terrifying moment of my life,” passenger Aundra Thompson wrote on Facebook after the plane was diverted to Brisbane. “I was just on the flight that caught fire and filled the cabin with smoke. Never have I cried so hard … thankful to be alive and for the crew.”

Within seconds smoke came up under my seat under my legs and up into my face and the man who was next to me

Passenger Wendy Perkins

The incident happened aboard an Airbus A320 one hour into a three-hour flight Jetstar, which is owned by Australia’s national carrier Qantas, insisted it was no more than a technical problem with one of the engines and the pilot shut it down as a precaution. But passenger Wendy Perkins said she heard a loud explosion and smoke started coming into the cabin. She said: “We both said that stinks, that absolutely stinks and then we lost pressure in the plane.” Jetstar said the smoke, which was seen on social media footage of the incident, would have come in through the air conditioning but only when the plane landed.

While it’s rare for something like this to happen, our crew … handled the situation very professionally

Jetstar spokeswoman