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Boeing 747-400 makes emergency landing in Indonesia due to engine problems

A passenger plane carrying 468 people from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia made an emergency landing in Makassar (south) on Wednesday due to an engine fire, the airline Garuda Indonesia announced.

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Boeing 747-400 makes emergency landing in Indonesia due to engine problems

A passenger plane carrying 468 people from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia made an emergency landing in Makassar (south) on Wednesday due to an engine fire, the airline Garuda Indonesia announced.

The Indonesian carrier said Garuda-1105 flight of a Boeing 747-400 to Medina returned to its original airport in the Indonesian city of Makassar at 5:15 p.m. local time (0915 GMT), with all passengers unhurt. . “The decision was taken by the captain immediately after takeoff, considering the problems identified after sparking was observed in one of the engines,” Irfan Setiaputra, general manager of Garuda, said in a statement.

There were 450 passengers and 18 crew members on the flight, Irfan said, including pilgrims for the hajj, the multi-day Muslim pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. They were all redirected to accommodation before boarding a replacement flight later on Wednesday to Saudi Arabia, he said.

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Images posted on social networks, which have not been verified by AFP, reportedly show the plane's engine catching fire during takeoff. The device was grounded for a safety investigation, Irfan said. The airline, 60% owned by the Indonesian state, suffered massive losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, grounding the majority of its fleet due to travel restrictions and falling demand, and laying off hundreds of employees.

The Southeast Asian archipelago relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands, but it has suffered a series of deadly plane crashes in recent years. In 2021, a Sriwijaya Air Boeing mysteriously plunged into the Java Sea after taking off from the capital Jakarta, killing all 62 people on board.

In March, Indonesia's transport ministry said it had opened an investigation into local airline Batik Air after two of its pilots fell asleep during a flight.

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