A Malaysia Airlines flight was forced to divert to central Australia after a technical issue left the aircraft “shuddering”, according to passengers.

Flight MH122 was flying from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday when it turned back not far from Broome, in Australia’s north-west.

The Airbus A330 carrying 224 people landed safely at Alice Springs airport.

Passengers said the aircraft had been shaking violently and making loud noises, the BBC reported.

One passenger, Maryna Delport Evetts, said engine problems had been blamed for the diversion, according to the Australian Associated Press.

“So just when you think this would never happen to you or it just happens in the movies, on our flight back home, four hours into the journey we had engine failure,” Evetts posted to Facebook.

“We turned back and we are now sitting at the airport in Alice Springs. Not too sure when we will be leaving but hey ho, we are on terra firma.

“Not a good feeling 10,000 feet up in the air.”

Malaysia Airlines said Flight MH122 which departed Sydney at 1.09pm local time yesterday, “experienced a technical fault on one of the aircraft’s engines”.

The airline added: “Safety was not at any time compromised and the commanding captain decided to divert the flight for technical assistance.

“The A330-300 aircraft landed safely in Alice Springs airport at 5.48pm.

“All affected passengers have been given hotel accommodation, meals and transportation.”

The carrier said safety remained its top priority and passengers were being transferred from Alice Springs to Kuala Lumpur on another flight.