The captain of the flight ordered the evacuation after smoke was found in the cabin while it was waiting to depart. The 747-400 aircraft carried 351 passengers and 19 crew.
Seven passengers and two crew were subsequently taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The two crew have now been discharged from hospital and will return to Hong Kong tonight.
“The cause of the incident is being investigated and we are cooperating fully with all the authorities concerned,” Mr Slosar said. “The flight and cabin crew did a fantastic job in following the procedures required in a situation such as this and got the passengers off the plane in a very professional manner. They did exactly what they were trained to do.”
He apologised to the passengers for the inconvenience caused and said arrangements had been made to fly the passengers onwards to their destinations. “Our passengers are our first priority and getting them to their destinations as quickly as possible is what we are now trying to do,” he said.
Cathay Pacific is upgrading a scheduled flight with a bigger aircraft to provide additional seats for the passengers involved but will not mount an additional flight as previously planned because sufficient capacity is available to accommodate the passengers.
Meanwhile, a team of Cathay Pacific staff was sent from Hong Kong to provide support to the passengers, crew and families.
Source: Cathay Pacific