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A Hollywood actress has described how a "river was running through the aisles" of one of Qantas's giant A380 jets about an hour after taking off from Los Angeles for Melbourne.
A Qantas spokesperson said there were no safety concerns and the captain made the decision to turn back to Los Angeles, but passengers took to social media to share photos and their fears of being deluged shortly into the 16-hour flight in the middle of the night across the Pacific Ocean.
Actress Yvette Nicole Brown, star of the comedy TV series Community and the film (500) Days of Summer, was a passenger and described it as "scary".
"Pipe burst on my #Qantas flight over the Pacific," Brown wrote on her Twitter account.
"We were diverted back to LA.
"River running thru the aisles #ScaryTimes #WillKeepYouPosted."
The actress, who has 469,000 followers on Twitter, wrote how there was so much water it seeped through the floor of her cabin and down on passengers on the level below.
"Man! It was a RIVER in the plane down BOTH aisles," she wrote.
"And we were the lucky ones.
"It rained on those below."
Passengers showed photos of the large quantities of water on social media while others joked the incident should be made into a film titled "Lakes on a Plane".
Qantas said the leak was from drinking water and no passengers were in danger.
The plane took off from LA International Airport just after midnight on Wednesday and landed back in LA at 2.39am local time.
Passengers were taken to hotels and according to the Qantas website, the flight is scheduled to take off at 8pm Wednesday LA time, landing in Melbourne on Friday at 4.50am AEST.
"Crew on board did everything they could to help customers, including moving them to unaffected areas and providing spare blankets so they could stay dry," Qantas said in a statement.
"We're also providing customers with hotel accommodation while the issue is being fixed by our engineers in Los Angeles.
"We apologise to customers for the inconvenience.
"There were no safety of flight concerns with the water leak, however the Captain decided to return to LA in the interests of passenger comfort.
"We are liaising with Airbus to understand what caused this fault."
Brown, although scared, was full of praise for Qantas flight and gate crews, describing them as "awesome".