MAS says MH148 preliminary inspection 'reveals no physical evidence of fire externally'

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 12): Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) said preliminary inspection of flight MH148 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur today revealed “no physical evidence of fire externally”.

MAS' statement came after flight MH148, with 300 passengers on board, turned back to Melbourne Airport in Australia.

"Malaysia Airlines' flight MH148 from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur on 12 June 2015 made a turnback to Melbourne Airport. The Airbus 330 is being inspected by Malaysia Airlines’ engineers and ground personnel.

"MH148 has 300 passengers on-board and passengers are being disembarked. Preliminary inspection reveals no physical evidence of fire externally, and further assessment is underway. Safety is of the utmost importance to Malaysia Airlines. More information will be released when available," MAS said.

Reuters, quoting Air Services Australia, reported that the flight returned safely to Melbourne, having turned back within minutes after take-off after an engine fire alert went off.

"There was an emergency declared, there was an 'engine fire' alert in the cabin. The plane proceeded to dump the fuel and returned to land and it landed safely at the aviation rescue sites," a spokeswoman at Airservices Australia told Reuters by phone.