'Holed' London jet plunges 20,000ft

A PASSENGER plane en route from London dramatically plunged 20,000ft after a hole appeared near one of its wings.

A PASSENGER plane en route from London dramatically plunged 20,000ft after a hole appeared near one of its wings.

The Qantas flight to Melbourne made an emergency landing in the Philippines after suffering cabin pressure problems.

The Boeing 747-400, with 346 passengers and 19 crew, diverted to Manila shortly after leaving Hong Kong and landed safely.

Passengers said the plane plunged 20,000 feet after the door "popped' during the flight.

Airport authority spokesman Octavio Lina said there was a "big hole in the right side near the wing".

Mr Lina said the hole was about 2.5m to 3m in diameter. He added that the flooring near the affected section gave way, exposing some of the cargo below, and part of the ceiling also collapsed.

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Passenger Brendan McClements said there was a sudden "gust of wind" through the plane after an hour in the air.

'There was a degree of surprise - people questioning what it was. There was a rush of wind as the air pressure came down. It got people's attention. It was then a matter of getting the masks on.'