An AirAsia X flight from Australia to Malaysia was forced to turn back 90 minutes after takeoff when it experienced a problem with the engine and began shaking like a “washing machine,” according to one of the passengers. Flight D7237 landed safely after a few harrowing moments.
“It was essentially the engine seized up I think, that’s what they told us anyway,” passenger Brenton Atkinson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “It was literally like you were sitting on top of a washing machine. The whole thing was going.”
Passengers reported hearing a loud explosion and then the plane began shaking violently. “We were asleep and heard a loud bang around the 1-hour-and-15-minute mark,” Damien Stevens told CNN. “It shook for the whole ride back, close on two hours.”
It was clear from the beginning that this was not your standard turbulence and the pilot reportedly asked passengers to pray on two separate occasions. “I could tell by the cabin crew’s reaction that it was really bad,” passenger Sophie Nicolas said. “I was crying a lot, a lot of people were crying, trying to call their mums and stuff but we couldn’t really do anything just wait and trust the captain.”