Australia

'Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate!': Qantas passengers forced off flight after smoke fills the cabin

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Passengers say the Qantas plane cabin began filling with smoke before they were forced to evacuate via emergency slides at Sydney airport.

Passengers on a Qantas flight from Sydney to Perth say they were forced to evacuate via emergency slides after the plane cabin began filling with smoke.

Qantas confirmed flight QF575 headed for Perth was forced to return to Sydney shortly after takeoff due to a hydraulic issue. 

It did not require an emergency landing, but passengers say the plane encountered problems taxiing to the gate and had to be towed there.  

Passengers had to evacuate using the emergency slides.
Passengers had to evacuate using the emergency slides.
Twitter

"Just had to evacuate my flight to Perth after engineering issues. Everyone had to exit the plane via slide onto Sydney tarmac after the cabin filled with smoke and the captain screamed evacuate. Terrifying," Ally Kemp tweeted. 

"Once back at the gate, the captain made the decision to evacuate the aircraft as a precaution and three emergency slides were deployed," a Qantas spokesperson said. 

In a statement later on Sunday afternoon, Qantas said there were reports of a "thick haze in the cabin", likely caused by hydraulic fluid entering the air conditioning unit.

"While customers may have thought it was smoke, there was no fire," the spokesperson said. 

Two passengers were treated for injuries sustained using the slides and another passenger was taken to hospital as a precaution. 

"Some customers reported sore eyes and itchy throats," the statement added.

Qantas engineers are working to determine the cause of the fluid leak on board the Airbus A330-200, which can carry up to 271 passengers. 

Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Australian Transport Safety Bureau have been notified about the incident. 

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