updated 9/2/2009 10:59:05 AM ET 2009-09-02T14:59:05

A Qantas airliner damaged last year in a midair explosion and then a tarmac collision was diverted Wednesday during a flight from Singapore to Australia because of a fuel leak.

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The Boeing 747, carrying 290 passengers, landed in the city of Perth, on Australia's west coast, using three of its four engines after the fuel leak was detected four hours out of Singapore, Qantas spokeswoman Kristy McSweeney said.

The engine was shut down after a cockpit instrument registered a fuel leak, she said.

"The aircraft can operate safely with the fault that it has experienced today," McSweeney said. "Due to conservative safety considerations, we've diverted it."

The same jet suddenly lost cabin pressure when an oxygen cylinder exploded, tearing a gaping hole in its fuselage and damaging navigational instruments in July last year during a flight from London to Melbourne.

The jet safely landed in Manila without injury to passengers or crew.

‘Completely unrelated issue’
The plane was repaired but damaged again when it collided with another 747 on a Melbourne airport tarmac while airline staff were moving the aircraft last November. There were no passengers aboard.

McSweeney said Wednesday's incident was "a completely unrelated issue" to the previous problems.

Engineers had yet to decide whether the jet could continue across Australia to Sydney or whether the passengers would have to stay in Perth overnight, she said.

Last year, Australia's aviation safety agency ordered Qantas to improve its maintenance system following a review prompted by a series of safety problems.

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