A Philippine Airlines (PAL) plane bound for Manila was forced to turn around and make an emergency landing when one of its engines caught fire shortly after it took off from Los Angeles, California.
PAL Flight 113 departed from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 11:45am Pacific Standard Time (3:12am in Manila), carrying 347 passengers and 18 crew members.
PAL spokeswoman Ciello Villaluna told radio station DZMM that one of the Boeing 777’s engines started experiencing technical problems and burst into flames two minutes after takeoff, which prompted the plane’s captain Tristan Simeon to steer the aircraft back to LAX. What caused the engine to malfunction remains unclear and is still under investigation, but Villaluna said the fire was put out before the plane landed.
The plane landed at LAX at around 12pm (4am Manila time) and was met by the Los Angeles Fire Department. The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane landed without incident and that the incident did not affect other flights.
“All 347 passengers deplaned safely and are now being assisted in their flight rebookings,” spokesperson Villaluna confirmed, “Everyone is safe.”
In a statement released this morning on its Facebook page, PAL, the Philippines’ official flag-carrier, thanked the passengers for their “calmness and patience” during the incident.
PAL said the passengers “cooperated well with our cabin crew during the flight and the emergency landing. We are extending all necessary assistance and are arranging to rebook them on alternative flights to Manila. In the meantime, our passengers were given meals and hotel accommodations.”
“We likewise recognize and appreciate the calm professionalism exhibited by our experienced flight and cabin crew, headed by Captain Triston Simeon and Purser Joanne Marie Dirige, in executing the unscheduled landing and taking care of our passengers,” the four-star airline said.
PAL also maintained that “safety is our top priority and that Philippine Airlines is cooperating with [the] concerned airport and aviation authorities.”
This article, Philippine Airlines plane returns to Los Angeles for emergency landing after engine catches fire, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!