Melbourne, Nov 19(ANI): Qantas' A380 flight QF32 passengers and crewmembers were "very, very lucky" that the highly flammable jet fuel in the aircraft's wings did not ignite from the ruptured fuel pipe or from a spark from severed wiring, an Australian expert has said.
The comment from Professor Adrian Mouritz, the head of aerospace and aviation engineering at Melbourne's RMIT University, comes after Airbus filed its preliminary report over the double-decker plane's emergency landing at Singapore's Changi Airport after one of its four engines dramatically exploded mid-air over the Indonesian island of Batam on November 4.
According to a preliminary report, turbine fragments flew out of the plane's engine when it exploded, severing cables in the wing, narrowly missing the fuel tank and taking out flight control systems during the incident.
"If that fuel ignited, that aircraft would have exploded," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Mouritz, as saying.
The report also said that engine parts struck the fuselage immediately above the wings between the two decks of windows, while other metal pieces damaged the plane's belly.
"That is also another major hazard ... [the risk of] depressurisation," Mouritz said.
The Airbus A380 was bound for Sydney from Singapore and was carrying 433 passengers and 26 crewmembers when it ran into trouble shortly after take-off.
Meanwhile, Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce has confirmed that as many as 40 Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines fitted to A380s worldwide might have to be replaced.
He said that the airline has already replaced three engines and could end up swapping about 14.
Qantas Airways has already grounded its entire Airbus A380 fleet following the accident. (ANI)