Passengers fume over plane 'fumes'

It started with one plane passenger. Soon, 18 passengers were convinced that they smelled fuel in the cabin before take-off.

One man decided to take matters into his own hands: He stood and shouted to other passengers that the plane was "not safe to travel" and everyone "should disembark".

Flight attendants tried to calm the group down, but they would not listen.

The incident happened on Tuesday on board Singapore Airlines Flight SQ863, which was flying from Hong Kong to Singapore.

A passenger, Mr Darren Toh, 31, told The New Paper he was seated one row in front of the group.

He was on the flight back to Singapore after a holiday with his family and a friend's family, but none of them smelled anything unusual.

The director of a construction company said: "When we went on board, we discovered hot air coming from the seats near the windows.

The flight attendants said it was not a problem and would stop after take-off."

Not convinced

But the group of passengers were not convinced.

They took their belongings and disembarked, but returned and argued with the flight attendants again.

Mr Toh said he overheard a flight attendant explain to them that they could not be sure when they could be put on another flight and that the group could miss their flight from Singapore to Jakarta, Indonesia.

Ground staff also boarded and explained to them that the plane was working normally. The flight then resumed after a delay of over an hour.

Said Mr Toh: "The flight attendants did a very good job of handling it. They acted very professionally."

A Singapore Airlines spokesman told TNP: "A group of passengers on Flight SQ863, a Boeing 777-200 operating between Hong Kong and Singapore on June 24, 2014, reportedly felt warm air and smelled fumes while the aircraft was still on the ground.

"Engineers conducted checks and confirmed that the aircraft did not have any defects."

This article was first published on JUNE 27, 2014.
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