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Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 12:07 UK

Eyewitness: Qantas flight drama

Qantas passenger Phill Restall, from Chippenham in the UK, describes how he was woken by a loud bang on flight QF30 to Melbourne which was forced to make an emergency landing after leaving Hong Kong.

Hole in side of plane
For many passengers, shock set in after landing

I was asleep in the business section of the plane. All of a sudden there was a loud bang which woke me up with a jolt. There was a mist coming through the cabin and the oxygen masks discharged.

The cabin crew shouted to everyone to put them on, then they sat down.

We wearing them for about 15 minutes until we descended.

We went down very rapidly to equalise out the pressure.

I guessed it was going down a bit faster than usual. From the little knowledge I have of these things I thought that was what the pilot was doing.

No-one panicked, there was no screaming. It wasn't your typical television movie. Everyone listened to the cabin staff.

It was never out of control. Hats off to all of the Qantas staff.

That appeared to be the end of the story.

The pilot came on and said one of the door's had "popped".

Most of us thought "unhinged" rather than not there.

He then said we were going to land in Manila to see what damage had occurred.

Lucky escape

Everyone was fairly calm partly because we didn't realise the extent.

I was by a window and could see two engines and both were spinning and that was good news as far as I was concerned.

Once we had landed and started to disembark it was obvious something major had happened.

The hole was wedged up by the luggage.

It dawned on a lot of people that this was a major incident. There were 350 people up there who were very lucky.

Seeing the hole caused a lot of emotion. People were physically shaking.

I think many people realised how close they were to their own mortality.



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