Qantas plane returns after deck explodes midair


(CNN) – A Qantas Airways aircraft in Australia was forced to return after a tire on the plane exploded shortly after takeoff.

The plane was traveling from Brisbane to the eastern city of Mackay on Sunday when a nitrogen-filled tire exploded and damaged part of the wing, according to CNN affiliate Seven News.

Jetjet was forced to burn fuel and circle across Queensland's eastern Sunshine Coast for an hour and a half before moving back to Brisbane. All 76 passengers on board were safe.

Passengers told Seven News that they heard a big bang and that the pilot announced that it was a tire explosion.

The airport crew on the ground confirmed the problem.

According to CNN affiliate Nine News, an operator on the runway reported seeing "rubber on the far left" and found "a large piece" of shredded tires.

All passengers managed to get on another flight to their destination later on Sunday. Qantas said it was not an emergency landing and that they are investigating the explosion, Seven News reported.

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