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False Fire Alarm Causes Air China Flight To Divert.

An Air China flight from Beijing to Los Angeles made an emergency landing in Russia over fears of a fire onboard.

The incident took place Monday after false alarms of a fire erupting in the baggage section of Air China Boeing 777, which was carrying 188 passengers at the time, excluding the crew members. Flight CA983 was making a 12-hour journey when fire alarms started sounding inside the plane, triggering panic among everyone aboard the aircraft, ( Mail Online reported.

As a result, the pilot made the decision to divert the flight and instead of its destination, the flight landed in a remote airport, located in Anadyr, capital of Russia's Arctic region of Chukotka, which has a population of 15,500. The temperature there was minus six degrees with freezing winds blowing at 15 mph.

Emergency chutes were deployed and the atmosphere inside the cabin was one of panic and chaos. In photos and videos posted on social media, passengers could be seen scrambling for the emergency exits.

"When the flight attendant opens the door she yells: 'Drop everything, evacuate immediately. The plane will explode,'" one passenger present on the flight at the time tweeted. "The cabin is full of screams and panic and the flight attendant is doing her best to maintain order."

Despite the chaos, there were no reported injuries. "All 188 passengers were accommodated in the international flight zone and the airport VIP-hall. They are provided with food and drink. There are doctors on the spot," Anadyr Deputy Governor Leonid Nikolayev said in a statement, ( Siberian Times reported.

Passengers could be seen huddled on the snow-covered tarmac. The local news sources reported that the Anadyr airport team did its best to assist the passengers and the crew who evacuated the aircraft. "The passengers had planned dinner in Hollywood but instead founded themselves stuck on the floor in one of the bleakest towns in the world," another passenger tweeted.

There was no confirmation of a fire and the incident was ruled as a false alarm. A backup plane was sent from Beijing to transport the stranded passengers to the United States. 

On the same day, a Qantas flight from Adelaide, Australia, to Canberra ( made an emergency landing at Melbourne after passengers heard a loud bang from the back of the plane. The depressurization incident caused the plane to go from 25,000 feet to 10,000 feet. Oxygen masks were dropped in the passenger cabin and the plane made a rapid descent.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was gathering evidence before considering launching an investigation. "The ATSB can confirm it has been notified of an occurrence this morning where a Boeing 737 on a flight from Adelaide to Canberra diverted to Melbourne due to reported pressurization issues. The ATSB will gather information into the occurrence before making a decision on whether or not to formally intervene."

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Mar 5, 2019
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