Passengers on a Qantas flight from Sydney to Perth have evacuated via slides after the Airbus A330 was forced to return as the cabin filled with smoke.
Qantas said flight 575 returned to Sydney shortly after takeoff on Sunday morning due to a hydraulic issue.
“Once back at the gate, the captain made the decision to evacuate the aircraft as a precaution and three emergency slides were deployed,” the airline said in a statement.
“Passengers were evacuated through both the slides and normal exits.”
One passenger described the incident on Twitter as “terrifying”.
“Just had to evacuate my flight to Perth after engineering issues. Everyone had to exit the plane via slide onto Sydney tarmac after the cabin filled with smoke and the captain screamed evacuate,” she tweeted.
There are unconfirmed reports that some passengers had to be restrained from climbing back into the plane arguing, "the air quality is better in there."https://t.co/68KpaPOp1J
— Bruce Ross (@brucerossbrc) December 15, 2019
Another passenger, Sydney mechanic Rahman Akbari, told The Daily Telegraph that the captain appeared calm but it was a “little bit” scary when the crew began yelling “evacuate, evacuate” on the tarmac.
“Initially it was just the smell, we could smell something but after a few minutes this fume starting building up in the cabin,” he told the newspaper.
Qantas says engineers are inspecting the aircraft and more information will be made available shortly.