A passenger jet engine caught fire and forced an emergency landing in Australia, all caught on tape.

Pilot praised as cabin erupts in fear

Passengers on the plane later praised the pilot for a safe landing of a flight headed to Barrow Island ferrying workers in and out.  The plane was forced to turn around and land in Perth Airport after the plane’s engine caught fire.

According to passengers on the plane, when sparks were seen coming out of the plane’s engine, the cabin erupted with concern and the flight headed back to land. One witness said the engine appeared to catch fire soon after the plane took off.

Caught on tape

Plane Catches Fire

Pictures of the engine show flames darting out of the engine on the port side, while passenger Brad McCoy caught the dramatic moments on his camera phone as sparks could be seen flying from the engine.

Media reports out of Australia said passengers were screaming and crying on board the plane as the flames were raging from the engine, which lasted for several minutes before the flames extinguished themselves.  Two passengers said that while those close to the engine feared the worst, the crew managed to calm most of those on board.

PLane catches fire

One passenger attributed the relatively calm demeanor of most passengers to their occupation working on site at Barrow Island.

“I’ve seen worse things at work,” one passenger said.

Island biggest energy producer in Australia

Barrow island is 31 miles northwest off the Pilbara coast in Western Australia.  The nearly 80 square mile island is the second largest island in the immediate region, home to oil and gas reserves as well as a well known bird sanctuary. The island is home to 430 wells producing oil and natural gas and has been Australia’s leading source of energy production. A private airport, the Barrow Island Airport, was established to transport workers to and from Perth and Karratha.

Today’s flight to the Barrow Islands was the second flight.  The first was delayed by technical problems.