Passenger Jet Lands Safely after Scare

July 25, 2008 2:26:13 PM PDT
345 passengers onboard a Qantas Airlines jumbo jet are safe on the ground today after a harrowing mid-air emergency. The Qantas jumbo jet had just taken off from a stopover in Tokyo when something went very wrong. "Owen Tudor/Passenger from the UK There was an almighty crack you could hear something happened and then the oxygen masks fell down and you started dropping down ears popping that sort of stuff," said passenger Owen Tudor.

The jumbo jet plunged some 20,000 feet as debris swirled inside the cabin. A section of the cabin floor ripped open exposing luggage below and part of the ceiling gave way. "I heard there was a hole somewhere. But I didn't know what was going on," said passenger Marina Scaffidi from Australia.

When the plane landed they could plainly see the problem; a gaping hole in the fuselage.

Passengers praised the pilot, Captain John Bartels, who later stood on the ground looking at the massive tear in the jet's wall.

A spokesman for the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration told ABC News that photos of the damage, do NOT indicate a bomb, and that the incident is probably NOT terror related, but an investigation is still underway.

ABC Aviation Consultant John Nance says once the 747 had been stabilized, the airliner was NOT in danger. "Everything worked exactly as its suppose to once this hole which is the big mystery appeared. What the passengers saw was terrifying but it really was the way things should be going," said Nance.

The big mystery was "how did that hole get there?" But for the passengers, the landing was anything but routine, and a huge sigh of relief went up inside the cabin.


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