Dramatic video captured a mad scramble to safety by passengers aboard an Air China flight from Beijing to Los Angeles after it made an emergency landing in Russia over fears of a fire on board.
The Boeing 777 was carrying 188 passengers on the 12-hour flight Monday when alarms sounded for a suspected fire inside the baggage compartment, the Daily Mail reported.
The pilot diverted to a remote airport in Anadyr, the capital of Russia’s Arctic region of Chukotka, where the temperature was a bone-chilling minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
“When the flight attendant opens the door she yells, ‘Drop everything! Evacuate immediately! The plane will explode!’ ” one of the passengers tweeted.
“The cabin is full of screams and panic and the flight attendant is doing her best to maintain order,” the frantic flier said in the posting.
Footage posted online shows the panicked passengers sliding down emergency chutes and immediately slipping on the ice-covered tarmac.
“All 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,” Deputy Gov. Leonid Nikolayev said.
Russian officials said a back-up plane was sent from Beijing to pick up the stranded passengers because of concerns about possible problems on the original aircraft.
Russian sources said there was ‘no confirmation’ of a fire but a back-up plane has been sent from the Chinese capital to pick up the stranded passengers amid concerns of faults on the original plane.
Pictures showed passengers huddling on the tarmac and later lying on the floor in the small airport terminal in Anadyr, population 15,500.
An air safety official said: ‘The evacuation of passengers was carried out by inflatable chutes.’
No injuries were reported.