Qantas 747 makes emergency landing after door blows out

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Manila (Philippines) – A Qantas jumbo jet made an emergency landing after a faulty door exploded open during flight.  Qantas Flight 30 from Hong Kong to Melbourne had to quickly descend 20000 feet and eventually landed in Manila.  All 346 passengers and 19 crew on the Boeing 747 aircraft were not hurt.

Passengers heard a “huge bang” approximately 20 minutes after the flight took off.  It appears a small maintenance or cargo door gave way and left a three-meter diameter hold in the fuselage, decompressing the cabin and causing the oxygen masks to drop.  According to some media reports, some passengers started screaming and vomiting, but the pilot and crew quickly took action and calmed everyone down.  Some passengers also reported seeing their luggage coming up into the passenger compartment.

The pilot made an emergency descent from 30000 feet to approximately 10000 feet and eventually landed in the Philippines to the thunderous applause of the relieved passengers.

Such explosive decompressions aren’t anything new and they do happen from time to time because of faulty maintenance or metal fatigue.  But some experts are already blaming the explosion on a bomb.  Sky News interviewed David Learmount, an editor at Flight International magazine, who said some kind of explosive in the suitcase might have caused the explosion.