Air China plane catches fire in Beijing as crew prepares to board passengers

A fire broke out on an Air China passenger plane at Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday as the crew were preparing passengers to board an afternoon flight to Tokyo.

Smoke engulfed the front of the plane that was due to depart at 5.10pm for Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, according to a statement from the airline on its official Twitter-like Weibo account.

“The crew quickly executed the firefighting measures and organised the safe relocation of all passengers,” Air China said in the social media post.

The smoke was coming from the cargo compartment of the Airbus 330 but there were no flames, according to a separate statement issued on the airport’s Weibo account.

It also noted that no passengers were on board the flight at the time.

The fire was quickly brought under control. Photo: Weibo
The fire was quickly brought under control. Photo: Weibo

Online footage of the incident showed significant damage to the roof of the plane, from where the smoke appeared to be originating.

The airport statement said “the relevant protocol” was enacted to bring the fire under control.

No injuries were reported and footage taken by bystanders appeared to show the evacuation of flight crew via the main boarding ramp.

Beijing Capital International Airport was “functioning normally” as of its 6pm statement.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The cause of the fire is being investigated. Photo: Weibo
The cause of the fire is being investigated. Photo: Weibo

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