Malaysian passenger plane skids off runway in Nepal; close shave for 139 on board

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Updated: April 20, 2018 2:43:06 PM

 All 139 people on board a Malaysian passenger plane had a miraculous escape when the Kuala Lumpur-bound flight skidded off the runway and got stuck in mud while attempting to take off from Nepal's only international airport here, officials said.

Tribhuvan International airport, Plane skids, Boeing 737, Malaysian airline, Kuala LumpurTribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu says no one was injured when a Boeing 737 operated by Malindo Air skidded on to the grass area at the end of runway. (Representative image)

All 139 people on board a Malaysian passenger plane had a miraculous escape when the Kuala Lumpur-bound flight skidded off the runway and got stuck in mud while attempting to take off from Nepal’s only international airport here, officials said. Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) was forced to halt all international flights after the incident involving Malindo Air jet late last night, The Kathmandu Post reported. TIA today resumed international flight operations after a suspension of over 12 hours, the report said. At least a dozen of international flights were cancelled after the incident. There were 139 people, including four crew members, on board the aircraft, Boeing 737-900, registration 9M-LNJ. No casualty has been reported, the report said.

“The flight captain aborted take off at the final moment after he saw an error at the monitor inside the cockpit,” TIA general manager Raj Kumar Chettri said quoting the captain. The aircraft apparently could not stop because of the take off speed and load at the final moment and overran 50 metre south from the runway threshold and rested in a grassland at around 22:08 PM (local time), Chettri said. The runway was closed following the incident. However, the aircraft has not suffered any damage but the front tyre has been stuck in the mud. Chhetri said the aircraft was towed away from the grassland to the runway and kept at the parking area.

He further informed that the airport runway did not suffer any damage during the incident and all international flights have resumed. The latest incident is one of the many plane accidents that Nepal’s TIA has witnessed in recent years. Last month, a Dhaka to Kathmandu US-Bangla Airlines flight, with 67 passengers and four crew members on board, caught fire after it careened off the runway and ploughed into a football ground near TIA, killing 51 people. In 2015, a Turkish Airlines plane also suffered a runway excursion during landing, closing the airport for four days, creating chaos among travellers.

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