Flight BA 016 from Sydney to London Heathrow via Singapore departed at 16.04 local time on Saturday 10 August. Shortly after take-off, the Captain took immediate action to return the aircraft to Sydney after a light in the cockpit indicated a problem in the forward cargo hold which was suspected to be a fire.
The aircraft, a Boeing 747-400 with 249 passengers and 20 crew on board, landed safely at Sydney at 16.24 and the passengers disembarked in the normal manner. There were no injuries to passengers or crew.
On initial inspection upon landing, it was discovered that the fire extinguishers in the forward cargo hold had been activated. The incident is now being investigated by the Australian Civil Aviation Authority who will establish what happened. It would be inappropriate for British Airways to speculate on the outcome of this investigation.
British Airways’ staff in Sydney are assisting the passengers who were onboard the flight and every effort is being made to get them to their destination as quickly as possible.