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Dublin: 12°C Monday 25 October 2021

Plane carrying 224 passengers skids off runway, ends up on grass

Nobody was injured, but witnesses said the cabin filled with smoke.

Source: Surya Nepal/YouTube

A TURKISH AIRLINES flight had a lucky escape today as it skidded off the runway at Kathmandu Airport in Nepal.

Officials say that nobody was injured and that all 224 passengers were evacuated after the plane ended up on grass beside the runway. One witness described the cabin filling with smoke.

Aviation officials said no one on board the flight from Istanbul was injured, although one witness described how terrified passengers leapt from their seats as the cabin filled with smoke after the plane skidded to a halt.

The airport has now been closed except to helicopters, spokesman Purna Prasad Chudal said, adding that visibility was reasonable despite fog earlier in the day.

Chudal said the pilot overshot the runway during an initial attempt to land, before making a second try that sent the plane skidding off the tarmac.

“As the plane approached, it somehow missed the runway and ended up in the grassland area,” said the airport’s general manager Birendra Prasad Shrestha.

“All 224 passengers have been evacuated, no injuries, everyone is safe,” Shrestha told AFP.

Photographs show the jet with its nose on the ground, with local media saying the landing gear had collapsed.

Dikesh Malhotra, who was returning from a business trip, said the impact of the landing caused bags to fall on terrified passengers, who clutched their seats, anxiously waiting for the plane to stop moving.

“We could feel the tyres skid… I could see an air hostess from my seat, she had tears in her eyes,” Malhotra, 28, told AFP.

When the plane stopped, smoke filled the cabin, making it difficult to breathe, he said.

Mountainous Nepal is known for its remote and tricky runways. Government officials installed new radar and weather systems last year after the EU blacklisted all Nepalese airlines.

With reporting from AFP

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