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After the fire caused a detour, the Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which was headed for Melbourne, Australia, touched down in the city of Invercargill, New Zealand.

Following the shutdown of one of its engines due to fire, a passenger plane landed safely at an airport in New Zealand on Monday (June 17), according to the country's fire department.

After the fire caused a detour, the Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which was headed for Melbourne, Australia, touched down in the city of Invercargill, New Zealand.

"Virgin Australia flight VA148 departed Queenstown Airport at 5.50 PM, bound for Melbourne. It experienced an issue just after take-off and has been diverted to Invercargill Airport. We will provide further updates as information becomes available," Queenstown airport authorities said in a post on X.


In a different X post, Drawyah, a social media account that streams train and airplane simulations, stated, "Greetings from Invercargill! The mood is calm in the cabin, a tad shaken but on the ground, as fire crews inspect the plane. Can confirm it was a bird strike on the way out."


According to Lynn Crosson, shift supervisor for Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the plane touched down in Invercargill around fifty minutes after taking off from Queenstown. Fire trucks were available at Invercargill.

According to Queenstown Airport spokesman Catherine Nind, the source of the engine fire and the number of people on board the aircraft were not immediately known.


In an email statement to CBS, Virgin Australia said that "a possible bird strike" might have been the cause of the event.

With a population of 53,000, Queenstown is a popular tourist spot in the South Island of New Zealand, known for its alpine scenery, adventure tourism, and skiing.

According to the country's aviation regulator's website, birds strike planes at New Zealand airports at a rate of roughly four per 10,000 aircraft movements.

According to the organisation, the severity of the repercussions varies based on the location of the aircraft impact, the size of the birds, and the pilot's response.