Aviation

Plane catches fire as passengers prepare to board

Passengers preparing to board an Air China plane in Beijing are thanking their lucky stars, after the aircraft caught fire just before the crew was about to usher them on.

The Airbus 330 jet was due to leave at 5:10pm local time on Tuesday for Tokyo, before it became submerged in clouds of smoke just as the Air China crew were preparing passengers to board, according to a statement issued by the airline on Weibo and picked up by the South China Morning Post.

“The crew quickly executed the firefighting measures and organised the safe relocation of all passengers,” Air China said.

Beijing Capital International Airport said in a statement on Weibo that the smoke was emerging from the plane’s cargo compartment, but there were no flames, and noted that “the relevant protocol” was followed to control the fire.

No passengers were onboard the plane at the time of the incident, and no injuries were reported, according to the South China Morning Post. However, footage shows crew being evacuated from the aircraft.

You can check out some additional footage and photos of the incident taken by bystanders below:

The airport said it was “functioning normally” by 6pm local time, while the cause of the fire is still being investigated.

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