SIA plane sucks up cargo box

SINGAPORE - An empty baggage container was sucked into one of the engines of a Singapore Airlines (SIA) plane on Thursday.

It was taxiing into a parking bay at Changi Airport.

Both SIA and Changi Airport Group (CAG) confirmed the incident, which happened around 4.45pm after Flight SQ421 from Mumbai landed at Changi Airport.

Mr Amit Makinakini, one of the passengers on the Boeing 777, said that the accident happened after an "uneventful" five-hour flight from Mumbai.

"I heard a loud thump outside the aircraft just after the plane landed and was taxiing on the runaway," he said.

The Indian national, who is in his 30s, is in Singapore to visit relatives.

He added: "I saw some smoke outside the aircraft but no one panicked.

The plane stopped for a short while but it then continued on its journey and we disembarked without incident."

Another passenger, who declined to be named, said: "No one was hurt but we were made to wait as officials did a check.

"We were told not to panic but we had to wait for an hour to get off the plane and retrieve our luggage.

"Normally, this would take about 20 minutes so it was very uncomfortable waiting."

When contacted, an SIA spokesman said: "While taxiing into the bay at Changi Airport this afternoon, one of the engines of a Boeing 777 operating as flight SQ421 from Mumbai ingested an empty container."

The plane was carrying 214 passengers and 13 crew members.

It is not known how the baggage container - which allows a large quantity of cargo to be bundled into a single unit - was sucked into the engine.

No injuries

No one was hurt in the incident.

Said the SIA spokesman: "There were no injuries to anyone on the ground or on board the aircraft.

"All passengers have since disembarked from the aircraft and investigations will be carried out by the relevant authorities. Singapore Airlines will co-operate fully with the authorities in their investigations."

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