Incident: Airbus A340-300, G-VELD, 140nm West of Galway, Ireland, 11 Jan 2009, Report No 2009-005

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History of the Flight


The aircraft was routing from Heathrow to Chicago on a scheduled flight. At approx 12.13 hrs, some 140 nm west of Galway, the cabin crew reported a small fire in the bottom of the waste bin storage compartment of the bar unit in the Upper (First) Class area. The fire was located in a hole in the floor of the compartment. The crew noted that a damaged electric cable loom appeared to emanate from this hole. Arcing was observed in the hole.


The cockpit crew turned off the Galley and Commercial power circuits, but the fire and arcing persisted. The Captain declared an emergency and diverted to Shannon, where the aircraft landed safety some 30 minutes later. During the diversion, the cabin crew used five 1 kg BCF extinguishers. These subdued the flames but the arcing persisted. After each application, the fire restarted after approximately five minutes. The observed flames were not large and were described as “licks of flame”. After landing, the Airport Fire Service tackled the fire with a 5 kg BCF extinguisher, but a glow continued to be observed at the bottom of the hole. The Fire Crew Watch Leader discussed the situation with the crew and a decision was made to de-power the aircraft. When this was done the glow disappeared and no further arcing was observed.

Occurrence Date: January 11, 2009
Report Date: February 13, 2009
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