Singapore Airlines plane catches fire when landing in Changi Airport

A Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight caught fire on Monday morning (June 27) at Changi Airport when it made a landing after taking off hours earlier.

Changi's Airport Emergency Service, which was already on standby, responded promptly and the fire was put out within five minutes, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in a statement on Monday night.

The affected runway had to be closed for around five hours for repair and clean-up work, added CAAS. During this time, landings and take-offs continued on Changi Airport's other runway.

While some flights were affected, all were able to take off within an hour of their scheduled departure times, said the authority.

It is investigating the cause of the incident and the Ministry of Transport's Air Accident Investigation Bureau will also be conducting an independent probe.

An SIA spokesperson told AsiaOne that "Flight SQ368, a Boeing 777-300ER operating from Singapore to Milan, returned to Singapore on June 27 following an engine oil warning message.

"The aircraft's right engine caught fire after the aircraft touched down at Changi Airport at around 6.50am. The fire was put out by airport emergency services and there were no injuries to the 222 passengers and 19 crew on board.

"Passengers disembarked through stairs and were transported to the terminal building by bus. Passengers will be transferred to another aircraft which is expected to depart for Milan later today.

"Singapore Airlines will be co-operating fully with the authorities in their investigations."

One passenger on that flight posted the ordeal on her business' Facebook page.

Ms Lee Bee Yee said the plane was apparently leaking oil for three hours after take-off and needed to turn back.

After reaching Changi Airport, the engine burst into flames as it was landing. The fire was put out quickly with foam and water, according to her post.

Ms Lee's post also said that all passengers are safe and evacuated from the plane.

On Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanked Singapore Airlines and Changi Airport for their swift response, in a Facebook post.

He also expressed relief that no one was hurt, and added that Singapore Airlines and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore are investigating the cause of the fire.

spanaech@sph.com.sg