“The panic was escalated because of the behavior of staff who were screaming, looked tearful and shocked,” Clare Askew, a passenger on the flight, said.
Another passenger said that “Hostesses started screaming: ‘Emergency, emergency.’ They just went hysterical.”
Perth officials said the flight returned 78 minutes after it had taken off from Australia.
This is the second time in recent months that there had been a mid-air emergency involving an AsiaAir flight. In June, an AirAsia flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur turned around when one of the plane’s engines failed. An aircrew member on that flight had told passengers to pray during the emergency.
In Dec. 2014, an AirAsia flight between Surabaya to Singapore crashed into the Java Sea. All 162 people on board were killed.