A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER caught fire after returning to Singapore Changi Airport some two hours into a flight to Milan on Monday morning. The crew of Flight SQ368, which took off from Changi at 2:25 a.m., diverted after a cockpit indicator for its right GE90-115B engine had shown oil loss. Shortly after landing at 6:50 a.m. local time, the airplane’s wing caught fire near the right engine. Already on standby, Changi’s airport emergency service responded immediately and extinguished the fire within five minutes.
All 222 passengers and 19 crewmembers evacuated the crippled airplane unharmed after firefighters put out the fire.
The runway on which the 777 landed closed for about five hours for repairs and clean-up, while landings and takeoffs continued on the other runway. Some delays resulted, but all flights managed to take off within an hour of the scheduled departure times.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said it will investigate and determine the cause of the incident, while the Ministry of Transport’s Air Accident Investigation Bureau conducts an independent investigation.
The last engine fire involving a 777-300 happened during taxi and lineup for takeoff at Tokyo Haneda Airport on May 27. That fire involved a Pratt & Whitney PW4090 turbofan, however. All 302 passengers and 18 crewmembers evacuated safely.
Another relatively recent incident involved an uncontained failure of the left GE90 engine on a British Airways 777-200 during takeoff from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport last September 8. Of the 157 passengers and 13 crewmembers aboard, 14 suffered mainly minor injuries.