Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Passengers Injured When Qantas Plane Dropped

Australia's transport safety watchdog is investigating an accident that sent a Qantas passenger jet plunging earthwards yesterday, injuring at least 40 passengers and crew, 15 seriously, and forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.

Flight 72 was en route from Singapore to Perth carrying 303 passengers about 3pm local time when it suddenly lost altitude. The crew made a mayday call, and the A330 aircraft made an emergency landing at Learmonth airport, a former military airstrip, 1250 kilometres north of Perth.

Fifteen passengers and crew, who were predominantly at the rear of the aircraft, had suffered serious injuries, including broken bones and severe lacerations, during the drop in altitude.

Dozens of emergency service officers waiting beside the airstrip surrounded the aircraft after it stopped, and paramedics treated the injured, who were taken to Exmouth Hospital, 12 kilometres away.

The condition of all those who had been injured was listed as stable or better last night. Qantas sent two aircraft, a B767 and a B717, to the airstrip to take the remaining passengers to Perth.

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