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Cathay Pacific plane makes emergency landing in Russia after fire warning

By Allen Cone
Cathay Pacific plane makes emergency landing in Russia after fire warning
A Boeing 777-300ER, similar to the one pictured, made an emergency landing Wednesday in Russia en route from London to Hong Kong because of a possible engine fire in the cargo hold. Photo courtesy Boeing

LONDON, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A Cathay Pacific jet that departed London en route to Hong Kong made an emergency landing in northeastern Russia because of a possible fire Wednesday.

Flight CX250 with 240 aboard landed at Novosibirsk International Airport on Wednesday morning after a signal indicated a fire in one of the cargo holds, the airline posted on Twitter. The warning light went on six hours in the flight.

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"At this time there is no evidence that there was a fire in the aft cargo hold of the Boeing 777-300ER," the airline said. "The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority.

The airline arranged for another plane to pick up the passengers in Russia and transport them to Hong Kong. They were staying at hotels near the airport, the airline said.

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The plane, with 212 passengers and a crew of 18, departed from London Heathrow at 2 a.m.

Passenger Michael Ots described the situation to Sky News:

"Basically everyone was asleep with nothing unusual. First thing we noticed was that the cabin crew were running around very frantically. Obviously everyone wakes up pretty fast when that happens!

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"The pilot announced we were making a 'precautionary landing due to a technical issue.'"

He said they waited in the departure lounge for seven hours and went to hotels.

"Obviously it's quite a diverting experience for everyone and mostly I think people are glad to be OK rather than annoyed at being inconvenienced," Ots said.

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Cathay Pacific, which is based in Hong Kong, flies to 175 locations in 44 countries with a fleet of 146 jets, according to its website. It was founded in 1946 by Australian Sydney H. de Kantzow and American Roy C. Farrell,

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