Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dozens injured in Qantas Airbus A330 'sudden in-flight upset'

Qantas logoDozens of people were injured earlier today, October 7, 2008, when a Qantas A330-300 aircraft experienced what the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) referred to as a sudden in-flight upset. Qantas described the event as a sudden change of altitude. According to the ATSB, the crew declared a MAYDAY and diverted to Learmonth, near Exmouth, in Western Australia, where they made an emergency landing at about 13:45 local time.

The aircraft (registration VH-QPA), operating as Qantas Flight QF72, was cruising in level flight en route from Singapore to Perth with 303 passengers and 10 crew on board at the time of the incident. An ATSB media release said that the event resulted in injuries to a number of cabin crew and passengers, primarily in the rear of the aircraft. The ATSB said: "Early reports indicate that three cabin crew and approximately 30 passengers sustained injuries, including about 15 with serious injuries, namely broken bones and lacerations."

The injured were taken to Exmouth Hospital for treatment. Several news media reports said that some of the more seriously injured were later flown to Royal Perth Hospital by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Qantas sent two aircraft -- a Boeing 767 and a Boeing 717 -- to Learmonth from Perth to collect passengers and crew.

Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to all those who were injured.

UPDATE Oct. 8, 2008: Both the Qantas and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) issued statements today with a few more details about the events on Qantas Flight QF72, which the ATSB has now officially classified as an accident: ATSB statement; Qantas statement.