Editor’s Note: This is a developing story. Check back at Aeronautics to learn more as more information becomes available.
On August 27 at about 4:00 PM local time, an Air China (CA/CCA) Airbus A330-300 emitted white and black smoke from the forward fuselage during a turn-around at Beijing Airport. The aircraft, registered B-5958, arrived at 3:00 PM as CA976 from Singapore Changi and got prepared for the next flight CA183 to Tokyo Haneda with passengers already boarding the plane while a fire developed from the forward cargo compartment. The flight got canceled.
In a first statement, Air China stated that “during the boarding process, the cargo area at the front of the aircraft smoked and the crew quickly executed firefighting measures and evacuated the passengers”.
While all passengers and crew members evacuated the aircraft safely, emergency services rushed to the aircraft and extinguished the fire. The reason for the fire is not yet known and is under investigation according to the airline.
While Air China stated that boarding was already in progress, the airport’s operator stated that there were no passengers on the aircraft. A spokesperson of the airport later stated that a black storage container inside the aircraft was producing significant amounts of smoke, however no flames were on-board.
Several footages appeared on social media channels. Looking at the damage to the aircraft’s fuselage, it is most likely the aircraft will be written off although it is not yet five years old.
Suspect cargo holder fire on an Air China A330 at Beijing Capital Airport right now. More to follow. pic.twitter.com/WVYpzErE09
Another angle pic.twitter.com/gkhaE2JrOe
Crew evacuated last from the front jet bridge. pic.twitter.com/HM31pj7PRs
Featured image courtesy of ChinaAviationReview
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