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Malaysia Airlines Plane Forced to Make Emergency Landing Due to Possible Engine Fire


"I was quite terrified."

A Malaysia Airlines plane prepares for landing at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, outside Kuala Lumpur on July 21, 2014. (MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A Malaysia Airlines flight from Melbourne to Kuala Lampur was forced to return to Australia Friday after a warning light indicated an engine fire.

After making a safe, "uneventful" landing at the Melbourne airport, authorities began inspection of the MH148 plane, seeing "no physical evidence of fire externally."

According to the Australian Nine Network news, the plane was required to dump its fuel before landing back at the airport. Flight Aware tracked the plane circling several times before returning to the ground.

Nine Network news reported that the 300 passengers and crew were safely ushered off the plane, but one passenger said the situation was "very scary. I was quite terrified."

Airservices Australia told the Associated Press that it wasn't yet sure if the fire warning light was caused by a malfunction or an actual fire.

The airline suffered two disasters in 2014. One where MH370 went missing with 239 people on board while en route to Beijing. No trace of this plane has been found yet. Then, in July, a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

Since then the airline has seen significant financial issues being called "technically bankrupt" by its new CEO Christoph Mueller. Mueller though said this month he believes the ailing carrier could break even by 2018 after cutting staff, selling surplus aircraft and refurbishing its international fleet.

The airline is trying to sell two of its A380 super jumbo jets and has gone ahead with its previously announced plan to cut 6,000 of its 20,000 staff. The remaining 14,000 employees have been offered jobs in a new company that is being set up to take over the legacy Malaysia Airlines business.

Mueller, who started work at Malaysia Airlines on May 1, said the restructuring is a "hard reset" for the airline that will reduce its costs by 20 percent and give it an opportunity to grow again.

He would not be drawn on whether the airline would adopt a new name or logo as part of a revamp of its brand. But he said a problem for Malaysia Airlines is that the traveling public is regularly reminded of its association with tragedy because the search for Flight 370 is still underway.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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