Thai Airways plane skids off runway, 14 injured

AP, BANGKOK

Tue, Sep 10, 2013 - Page 6

A Thai Airways plane carrying more than 280 people skidded off the runway while landing at Bangkok’s main airport, injuring 14 passengers, the airline said yesterday.

After the accident, workers on a crane blacked out the Thai Airways logo on the tail and body of the aircraft to protect the airline’s image, according to Star Alliance guidelines, an official said. It was the second mishap in less than two weeks for Thailand’s national carrier.

The Airbus A330-300 that departed from Guangzhou, China, had a “glitch” in its wheel base while landing at Suvarnabhumi International Airport late on Sunday, the airline said.

Photographs taken after the incident showed deep skid marks in a grassy area off the runway leading to the plane, with its nose down and emergency slides inflated.

“After touchdown at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the landing gear malfunctioned and caused the aircraft to skid off the runway. Sparks were noticed from the vicinity of the right landing gear near the engine; the matter is under investigation,” Thai Airways president Sorajak Kasemsuvan said in a statement.

“The captain took control of the aircraft until it came to a complete stop and passengers were evacuated from the aircraft emergency exits,” he said.

Most of the injuries occurred as passengers evacuated the plane, the statement said.

The aircraft was carrying 288 passengers and 14 crew members. The airline said on its Twitter account that the 14 injured passengers were sent to hospitals.

Officials said the runway at the airport will be temporarily closed.

In the previous incident, 20 passengers were injured when a Thai Airways Airbus A380 hit severe turbulence as it descended to Hong Kong’s airport.