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Passengers Flee Bali-Bound Flight from Lombok

Merpati Passengers Flee Bali-Bound Flight at Lombok Airport as Smoke Fills Passenger Cabin.

(7/17/2010) Merpati Nusantara Flight 6601 flying from Mataram (Lombok) to Bali on Wednesday, July 14, 2010, failed to fly when passengers took matters into their own hands and abandoned the aircraft on the runway, prior to take-off at Selaparang Airport.

Stewardesses were going through the pre-flight safety briefing when smoke emanating from the cockpit engulfed the plane's interior via the air conditioning system.

Passengers said obvious panic by the flight crew, who failed to issue any emergency commands, caused passengers to take matter into their own hands, open the plane's emergency exits and exit the smoking plane.

The smoke was traced to an electrical short circuit in the cockpit. The airline insists the passengers were never in danger.

No passengers were injured in the incident. The passengers were transferred to different airplane in order to continue their flight to Denpasar, Bali.

Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) are investigating the incident.