This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 5 °C Monday 21 October, 2019
Advertisement

Plane with 139 people on board skids off runway causing chaos at Kathmandu airport

Nobody was hurt in the incident but hundreds of passengers had flights cancelled.

Workers try to bring the Malaysian airliner back onto the runway at the international airport in Kathmandu
Workers try to bring the Malaysian airliner back onto the runway at the international airport in Kathmandu
Image: AFP/Getty Images

A MALAYSIAN JET carrying 139 people aborted its takeoff and skidded into mud, forcing Kathmandu airport to shut down for more than 12 hours until the plane was moved today.

Nobody was hurt in the incident but hundreds of passengers had flights cancelled and all incoming flights were diverted after the Malindo Airlines Boeing 737 went off the runway late yesterday.

The jet was speeding down the Tribhuvan International Airport runway when the pilots detected a problem and aborted takeoff, airport spokesman Prem Nath Thakur said. The jet skidded into grass and came to a halt in mud about 100 feet (30 metres) from the runway.

“All aboard are safe,” Thakur said, adding that the cause of the problem was not immediately known.

Nepal’s only international airport reopened again just before midday local time (around  7am Irish time) after the jet was “removed without any damage”, Thakur added.

‘Stuck in the mud’ 

American traveller Sarah Ann Loreth, heading to Doha before returning to her home in Boston, spent hours on a plane after the emergency.

“We were supposed to take off on Thursday but couldn’t because of the Malaysia flight,” she told AFP.

“Around 2am the flight attendant informed us the other flight had slipped off the runway and was stuck in the mud and could not be moved.

They deplaned us around 2.30am and it was pure chaos. We went back to the terminal and they had our bags laid out behind the counter and we just went behind and grabbed them.

Cars eventually took the passengers to hotels to wait for a reorganised flight, Loreth said.

The incident came one month after the crash of a US-Bangla Airways plane at Kathmandu airport, which killed 51 people.

In March 2015, a Turkish Airlines jet skidded off the runway as it landed, forcing Tribhuvan Airport to close for four days.

The Himalayan nation has some of the world’s most remote and tricky runways, flanked by snow-capped peaks with approaches that pose a challenge even for accomplished pilots.

Nepal has a poor air safety record. Accidents are common and Nepal-based airlines are banned from flying in European Union airspace.

© AFP 2018 

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (15)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel