China Eastern flight bound for Shanghai had to return to Sydney after about an hour in the air after one engine failed
A China Eastern flight from Sydney to Shanghai has been forced to turn around after engine failure caused a mid-air emergency.
The moment that we took off the wing to my left just started making a massive amount of noise and they cleared all the seats, a passenger told the Nine Network.
Images show a huge hole in the engine casing of the Airbus A330 which was forced to circle for an hour before touching down safely.
Flight MU736 left Sydney bound for Shanghai at 8.30pm on Sunday evening but pilots reported problems about an hour into the journey. It returned to Sydney where it landed safely and passengers were evacuated with no injuries.
We went up in the air and all of a sudden … it kind of smelled like burning, another passenger told Network Seven.
With the majority of announcements on board made in Chinese, English-speaking passengers said they were struggling to find out any details.
I was scared. Yes. I was really scared. Our group was terrified, the passenger told Seven.
The flight was a code-share with Qantas, but the airline declined to comment on the language barrier or any other aspect of the incident until it had established how many passengers had booked with Qantas. China Eastern airlines has also been contacted for comment.
Passengers were put up in hotels at Sydney Airport and were expected to depart for Shanghai later on Monday morning. Despite the havoc, passengers applauded airline staff for their professionalism.
Several other flights out of Sydney were cancelled on Monday morning before thick fog that blanketed the city cleared after sunrise.