This is a local Sri Lankan newspaper report about a Thai International aircraft having difficulties over the weekend. Any further info on this?
Midnight drama on TG308
A loud explosion aboard a passenger aircraft, an engine on fire, flight attendants running up and down the aisle, passengers wearing life jackets and a descending plane, with the pilot trying to maintain level flight.
This may all sound like a script from a Hollywood movie but in fact, it is exactly what took place on Thai Airways flight TG 308, with more than 200 passengers on board, which nearly crashed early Saturday morning, just minutes after takeoff from Bandaranaiake International airport.Thai Airways officials say the Aircraft experienced technical problems, resulting in a fire in the right engine of the aircraft.
Thai Airways flight TG 308 took off from Colombo as scheduled around 1.25 am on Saturday and Mr. Hashim had dozed off just as the airbus aircraft was in full flight, despite some passengers feeling something unusual.
Around 20 minutes after takeoff, the aircraft took a turn and was preparing to land, with the flight attendants being told by the pilot to go to their landing stations, leaving Mr. Hashim to wonder if they were unexpectedly landing in the Maldives. “I was confused, because this flight is direct to Bangkok. When it was descending, I saw the lights at the airport and was convinced it was the Maldives,” Mr. Hashim said.
However, as the aircraft taxied on the runway, the passengers realised they were back at Colombo Airport and the pilot later made an announcement saying they returned owing to a technical default.
The passengers disembarked and transferred to the transit lounge and made to wait for more than five hours before boarding the same plane, which took off at 8.05 am.
But little did the passengers realize that the worst was yet to come. Some 10 minutes after takeoff, there was a fairly loud explosion on Thai Airways flight TG 308, setting fire to one of the engines.
“Passengers at the rear had detected the fire. One guy had recorded the fire with his video camera. One of the stewardesses was running up and down. By this time we were wide awake and felt the plane was losing altitude and also tilting to a side. Perhaps the pilot was trying to balance it or turn it around,” Mr. Hashim said.
With the aircraft descending fast and just above the ocean, the passengers in the economy class were told to put on their life jackets, creating a bit of a commotion, although, Mr. Hashim recalled, that most people were relatively calm.However, the pilot somehow managed to control the aircraft and made a safe, emergency landing back at Colombo Airport, where fire engines and rescue staff on standby, doused the flames on the engine and got the passengers safely off the plane.
While praising the pilot for landing the aircraft safely, the passengers of flight TG 308 were questioning the decision to take off after the initial “technical glitch”, which forced the plane to return just minutes into the flight. “When we took off for the second time, we were told that the flight will take 4-hours to reach Bangkok, because of a problem with the aircraft. The normal duration is 3 hours. They were taking a chance with over 200 passengers on board,” Mr. Hashim noted.
The passengers feel they were put at risk, while many of them will remain traumatised by the incident, which could have been avoided altogether, if proper remedial measures were taken after the initial “technical glitch” on Thai Airways flight TG 308.