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AirAsia flight returns safely to Perth after plummeting 20,000 feet

AirAsia told CNN that the flight was diverted after a "technical issue"

IANS  |  Perth 

AirAsia
File Photo: An AirAsia plane is parked on the tarmac at the Changi International Airport

An was forced to turn back to the Australian city of after the plane suddenly dropped 20,000 feet, officials said on Monday.

Flight QZ535, bound for the Indonesian island of Bali, changed course about 25 minutes after take-off on Sunday night, reports the BBC.

The Airbus A320, carrying 151 people, landed safely at Airport.

A video taken on the plane, broadcast by Australian media, showed oxygen masks hanging from the ceiling and one person shouting "passengers get down, passengers get down".

Another passenger, Claire Askew, told the Seven network that "panic was escalated" by airline staff who were screaming and appeared to be in tears.

Data from Flightaware.com shows the plane plummeted from above 34,000 feet to 10,000 feet in a matter of minutes. It is standard practice for pilots to descend to that altitude in the event of cabin depressurisation.

AirAsia told CNN that the flight was diverted after a "technical issue".

"We commend our pilots for landing the aircraft safely and complying with standard operating procedure," Captain Ling Liong Tien, AirAsia Group's head of safety, said in the statement.

"We are fully committed to the safety of our guests and crew and we will continue to ensure that we adhere to the highest safety standards."

In June, an on its way to Bali was also forced to turn back to after an engine problem left it "shaking like a washing machine", the BBC reported.

In December 2014, an AirAsia plane crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board after the aircraft's rudder control system malfunctioned during the flight.

First Published: Mon, October 16 2017. 13:30 IST
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