Passenger plane lands safely in New Zealand after a fire shuts down an engine

The Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 jet bound for Melbourne, Australia, landed in the New Zealand city of Invercargill after the fire forced a diversion

Published - June 17, 2024 02:12 pm IST - WELLINGTON

A Virgin Airlines plane takes from Melbourne Airport in Melbourne. Image used for representative purpose only.

A Virgin Airlines plane takes from Melbourne Airport in Melbourne. Image used for representative purpose only. | Photo Credit: AP

A passenger plane landed safely at a New Zealand airport on June 17 after a fire shut down one of its engines, the nation’s fire service said.

The Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 jet bound for Melbourne, Australia, landed in the New Zealand city of Invercargill after the fire forced a diversion.

Fire trucks met the plane as it arrived in Invercargill about 50 minutes after takeoff from Queenstown, said Lynn Crosson, shift supervisor for Fire and Emergency New Zealand.

The cause of the engine fire and the number of passengers on board the plane were not immediately known, Queenstown Airport spokesperson Catherine Nind said.

Virgin Australia said in an emailed statement that the incident may have been caused by “a possible bird strike.”

Queenstown, with a population of 53,000, is popular tourist destination on New Zealand's South Island, famous for skiing, adventure tourism and alpine vistas.

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