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False alarm on Vietjet flight leaves passengers praying for their lives

False alarm on Vietjet flight leaves passengers praying for their lives

Tuesday, November 20, 2018, 12:34 GMT+7
False alarm on Vietjet flight leaves passengers praying for their lives
Passengers get into a brace position on a Vietjet flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on November 19, 2018. Photo: D.H

Panic erupted on a passenger flight of Vietnamese airline Vietjet on Monday when an alarm sounded minutes after take-off from an airport in Ho Chi Minh City, forcing it to return to the airport for a check.

Vietjet flight number VJ198 departed at 7:05 pm on Monday from Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City to head for Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

Ten minutes after take-off, alarms on the plane were triggered, giving warnings of a technical problem, a representative of the budget carrier said the same day.

The flight captain made a swift decision to bring the plane back to Tan Son Nhat for a check and asked passengers to get into a brace position to prepare for rough landing.

The announcement plunged hundreds of passengers on the packed flight into panic, as a video captured by one of the passengers showed people praying for their lives during the turbulent event.

Data retrieved from plane-tracking site Flightradar24 shows the Vietjet aircraft reaching 11,000 feet, or over 3,300 meters, before alarms sounded.

The crew had to circle Tan Son Nhat for around 30 minutes at 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) before they could safely land at 8:06 pm.

According to the Vietjet representative, a thorough check was performed afterward and found no technical issue with the plane, which is an Airbus A320.

The narrow-body jet was registered under flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and has been loaned to Vietjet since May 2013, according to documents acquired by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Engineers have concluded it was a false alarm that was triggered mid-flight, and the plane has resumed its regular service, Vietjet said in a statement.

Meanwhile, passengers on the VJ198 flight were put on another plane to continue their journey to Hanoi with a short delay.

Last month, a Vietjet plane en route from Hanoi to Busan, South Korea was also forced to make an emergency landing in Hong Kong after a false alarm went off.

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Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre News

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