Melbourne plane fire: burning debris falls on runway, closes airport


parked aircraft on an airport...

An aircraft caught fire yesterday (Monday) after burning debris began falling from it just moments before take off.

The Vietnam Airlines flight to Ho Chi Minh City was set to take off when "bits of the plane" fell onto the runway sparking an emergency at the Melbourne airport, said onlookers.

Takeoff was aborted and the plane sat disabled at an intersection of runways, reports the Guardian.

It was later towed to a parking bay and the debris was cleaned up.

All flights in and out of Melbourne's Tullamarine airport were temporarily suspended after the incident shortly before 11am on Tuesday morning. Eight aircrafts, including one international flight, were diverted to other airports.

Some planes were forced to circle the airport for up to 40 minutes until takeoffs and landings were resumed at 11.40am.

Although the debris left spot fires burning across the runway, Ms Gillet said the aircraft did not catch fire and said initial reports indicated engine failure caused the plane to break down.

Ms Gillett said the fire was the result of debris that came out of the aircraft, and that the heavy smoke was due to the plane braking suddenly, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Because of the force in the plane, things get fairly hot, and that's why they generally catch fire. The debris caught fire as it hit the ground, leaving spot fires on the runway."

The Australian Transport and Safety Bureau will conduct an investigation into the incident.

15 flights from hell

15 flights from hell

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