A Malaysia Airlines flight to London was forced to return to Kuala Lumpur International Airport shortly after takeoff when it developed engine trouble, the company said today.
"The Boeing 747-400 aircraft with 321 passengers and 21 operating crew had an uneventful landing at 0205 hours this morning (1805 Monday GMT)," it said.
"Ten or 15 seconds in the air and there was this huge, ugly 'thud'," passenger Ahirudin bin Attan wrote in his blog.
"Immediately those who had flown enough times knew something had gone awry. The big bird shuddered and then someone said 'Fire!'
"I did not see any fire. I was at the window seat on the 16th row, just a few seats before the four engines of the 747, and the engine that we lost was on the left wing," he wrote.
"It was the scariest two hours of my flying experience."
He said the plane had to circle low over the airport for more than an hour to dump fuel before landing. A company representative declined to provide details of the technical problem.
The aircraft was immediately grounded and a replacement plane and crew flew the passengers to London a few hours later.