LONDON – The Australian national broadcaster ABC News has reported an incident involving a regional Link Airways flight which had made a scheduled departure from Canberra Airport this morning at approximately 8:00am Australian Eastern Standard time.
Shortly after take-off the passenger cabin of the Saab 340 twin turboprop commuter aircraft was punctured by a ratchet strap used to secure the propellers on the ground.
A photograph posted to social media, which was taken by one of the passengers aboard the flight, clearly shows the head of the ratchet strap protruding into the passenger cabin area.
Photo via Twitter
The aircraft was forced to make a precautionary return to Canberra Airport following the cabin strike.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell confirmed that the ratchet strap had been used to secure the propeller overnight and had not been removed prior to flight.
“Transport safety investigators from the ATSB’s Canberra office have deployed to Canberra Airport to inspect the aircraft, to begin the process of interviewing the flight crew and passengers, and to gather other relevant information for the investigation,” Mr Mitchell stated.
It is understood that three people were assessed for minor injuries after disembarking the flight.
Link Airways is an Australian regional airline headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland. It provides domestic regional services across the eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.
This is a developing story