“We were terrified when the aircraft started shaking immediately after take off,” recalls a relieved passenger of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH192, after it arrived in Bangalore from Kuala Lumpur on Monday evening.
The Boeing 737-800 took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at around 7.20 (IST) on Sunday. But after technical problems, it was forced to make an emergency landing with 166 passengers on board. The incident has prompted the Malaysia police to begin a probe into any sabotage. According to Malaysia Airlines, the right hand gear of the aircraft had malfunctioned primarily because of a tyre burst.
According to the passengers, the aircraft circled the skies above the airport for about four hours before landing.
“It was a scary experience,” said Tejasvi Shetty, one of the passengers, visiting India, with her two-year-old daughter Sidhi.
“We heard a noise like a tyre burst as soon as the flight took off. There was this shaking and the pilot told us there was a technical problem and an emergency landing will be attempted. For four hours, we circled the skies, I think it was to empty the fuel and then we landed safely,” she said. “We were afraid, but the crew told us there was a problem and was very helpful. Even after we landed, we were given good accomodation and we left the following day. However, the crew was very polite and helpful,” Shetty said.
The flight, which was supposed in land in Bangalore at 11.30 pm on Sunday, reached Bangalore at 5.15 pm on Monday.
In Kuala Lumpur, IGP Khalid Abu Bakar said investigations would be carried out to see if there were elements of sabotage. He was responding to acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s call for a police investigation.
Hishamuddin asked the police to submit their report by Wednesday. “I give them two days. I want to see an early report as this is not something like MH370. It is related to the condition of the tyres (landing gear).
“These sort of incidents shouldn’t happen. Although Malaysia Airlines is under Khazanah, the investment arm of the government, the ministry should be given the report as soon as possible,” he said.
He said all leads would be verified and corroborated.
Hishammuddin praised the pilot of the plane for his “skillful” handling of the aircraft. “The passengers, despite being tired, expressed their admiration for the pilot’s handling of the aircraft in making the emergency landing safe (at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport) without any harm to them,” he said, and placed a pilot’s cap on Nor Adam Azmi’s head as a gesture of appreciation.