Published: Sun, June 25, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

AirAsia flight forced to return to Perth

Passengers on the AirAsia X flight from Perth, Australia, desperately tried to call loved ones as they feared the worst.

The plane landed in Perth at about 10am.

It was the second scare involving an Airbus A330 in Australia this month, with a China Eastern plane making an emergency landing in Sydney after a huge hole appeared in one of its engine casings.

AirAsia X Berhad confirmed in a statement that flight D7237 for Kuala Lumpur took off at 6:40 a.m. local time with 359 passengers on board and landed back at Perth Airport at 10 a.m.

Passenger Sophie Nicolas who was on board the flight told Australian publication PerthNow that she heard a small explosion from the left wing. "It was terrifying", said Nicolas.

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Another 24- year-old passenger, Brenton Atkinson, 24, also on board the same flight said the flight was shaking like a washing machine.

Dramatic footage shot by passengers shows the seats and tray tables vibrating intensely.

The pilot said the decision to return to Perth 90 minutes after leaving was made because of "technical issues" with the passenger plane.

"It was literally like you were sitting on top of a washing machine", he told ABC radio.

Passengers were reminded of safety procedures and they practised the brace position for landing during the journey back to Perth. The whole thing was going. "That's why in Malaysia our air traffic control as well as International Civil Aviation Organisations (ICAO) standard have to comply with the technical requirements", he said at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's Hari Raya Open House.

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