Incident: KLM B744 at Curacao on Apr 30th 2009, fire in cabin

May 5, 2009 by admin
Filed under: Airline News 

A KLM Boeing 747-400, registration PH-BFL performing flight KL-785 from Curacao (Netherlands Antilles) to Amsterdam (Netherlands) with 399 passengers, returned to Curacao when a fire was observed in the cabin. The airplane landed safely.

Passengers reported, that there was a fire in the internal wiring near the TV screen in the lower deck around seat row 51, flares were visible behind the overhead panels. The flight attendants used fire extinguishers and managed to quickly stop the fire.

A passenger – wanting to remain unnamed – told The Aviation Herald in a detailed report, that there was a strong diesel-like smell from the air conditioning while at the gate and thought, that service vehicles underneath the aircraft might be the cause of this. About 20 minutes into the flight the passenger noticed other people sitting ahead to look back towards the left side of the airplane near the first emergency exit behind the wing (editor’s note: row 51) and now saw about 5 overhead bins had been opened, a light haze appeared. A few minutes later flight attendants arrived with several small fire extinguishers. At that point a smell like candles arrived at the passenger’s seat. The captain requested all cabin crew to meet immediately at the purser’s station, then an announcement followed, that the airplane would return to Curacao due to a technical problem. The brace position was demonstrated and exercised, the emergency procedures were reiterated again. After the landing gear came down, at low altitude, the captain commanded “Brace for impact”, repeated by flight attendants. The airplane touched down very fast, not as hard as expected. The airplane slowed down and stopped, at which point the passengers broke into applause. The airplane taxied to the gate arriving there about 15 minutes later and the passengers disembarked. The flight was eventually cancelled, the passengers were shuttled to hotels and fell into bed around 4-7am. The passenger heard from sources at the airport, that an inboard light had shortened out and caused a fire, which was extinguished by cabin crew.

A replacement Boeing 747-400 registration PH-BFG was dispatched to Curacao as flight KL-7421 on May 1st and delivered the passengers to Amsterdam in the morning of May 3rd with a total delay of 48 hours.

A statement by KLM, promised for this Monday, has not yet reached The Aviation Herald.



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