FIRE ALERT FORCES AIR FRANCE JET TO MAKE EMERGENCY TAHITI LANDING

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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (November 27, 2000 – Radio Australia)--An Air France Boeing 747 with 347 passengers on board was forced to make an emergency landing following a cabin fire alarm40 minutes after taking off from Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport.

Civil aviation authorities said flight 071 from Pape‘ete to Paris via Los Angeles was passing over the Tuamotu Archipelago when the crew and passengers were alerted to the strong smell of an electrical fire.

Captain Michel Hessmann, although he did not detect flames or smoke, cut off the electricity supply to the cooking galley and the cabin lights and returned to Pape‘ete.

After the plane made an emergency landing at Faa’a International Airport, officials said passengers were evacuated without incident.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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