Mid-air explosion: Qantas staff sue for trauma

Qantas flight crew members who were on QF32 when its engine exploded mid-air two years ago have initiated a class action lawsuit against the aircraft’s engine manufacturer over psychological trauma they say they have suffered as a result of the incident.

The flight attendants are seeking to expand the action to include hundreds of passengers on the ill-fated flight.

On November 4, 2010, the Qantas A380, carrying 469 passengers and crew, was leaving Changi Airport en route to Sydney when it suffered what is described in court documents as a”catastrophic failure of its number two engine”.

The ailing aircraft, leaking fuel and with multiple systems failing, limped back to Changi with a disabled engine.

No one was physically injured during the incident.

In a statement of claim filed in the NSW Supreme Court by LHD Lawyers, one of the flight crew on board, Sandy Lam of Eastwood, says she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and a “major depressive disorder” as a result of the incident. It is understood she now has a fear of flying and filing her car with petrol.

Ms Lam is one of 17 crew from QF32 who are suing the manufacturer of the A380’s engines, Rolls-Royce, for damages over the psychological trauma they experienced.

They claim that the engine failure occurred because there was “fatigue cracking in a stub pipe … that fed into a high pressure bearing structure”, asserting that Rolls-Royce was negligent in the manufacture, inspection and installation of the pipe.

On Wednesday, Ms Lam and her fellow plaintiffs successfully sought access to the passenger manifest for the flight, which will allow them to contact the 450-odd passengers to include them in the class action, unless they wish to opt out.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.