Virgin Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Catching Fire Mid-Air

A Virgin flight travelling from Queenstown to Melbourne has been forced to make an emergency landing after catching fire mid-air.

The Boeing 737-800 jet’s engine caught on fire, forcing a diversion to Invercargill Airport on Monday afternoon.

Sixty-seven passenger and six crew member were on board, with it understood no physical injuries caused from the event.

Members of the public reported hearing loud bangs and witnessed the flames as the incident unfolded.

Virgin Australia chief operations officer, Stuart Aggs, said “a possible bird strike” may have caused the incident.

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Passengers were accomodated overnight in Invercargill, with new flights arranged for their earliest departure to Australia.

“We wish to express our appreciation for the support of Invercargill Airport, Emergency Services, local Air New Zealand team members and our crew on-board in helping to support tonight’s response effort,” Mr Aggs said.

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