Did Volcanic Ash Force Plane Down?

A superjumbo passenger jet flying from London to Sydney with 459 on board was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines shut down in mid-air.

The Qantas A380 aircraft, carrying 433 passengers and 26 crew, experienced problems soon after taking off from Singapore.

It was forced to dump fuel and return to Singapore’s Changi Airport before making an emergency landing. No passengers or crew members were injured during the incident.

According to reports, the Qantas airbus was travelling on the London-Singapore-Sydney route when one of its four engines shut down.

The air company has now suspended all flights of its A380 aircraft until a thorough safety investigation has taken place.

A spokesman for the Australian airline said: “A Qantas A380 aircraft operating QF32 from Singapore to Sydney experienced an engine issue soon after take off and returned to Singapore.

“The aircraft had 433 passengers and 26 crew on board. In line with procedure, the pilot sought priority clearance for its return to Singapore. The aircraft landed safely at 11.45am local time.”

Media and eyewitness reports initially suggested that the aircraft had crashed after an explosion was heard and large amount of debris from the jetliner was found strewn over western Indonesia.

Pieces of debris, believed to be fragments from the engine cover of the aircraft, were found near a shopping centre on the Indonesian island of Batam following the incident.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We can confirm that British nationals were on board the flight. There are no reports of injuries.Consular staff from the British High Commission in Singapore are at the airport and offering consular support to British nationals.”

Singapore airport is only 300 miles from the currently erupting Anak Krakatau and about 650 miles from the also currently erupting Mount Merapi.

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