Jet Air­ways plane skids off run­way

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS -

A Jet Air­ways Boe­ing 737 air­craft with 161 peo­ple on board veered off an air­port run­way in Goa shortly be­fore take-off just be­fore day­break yesterday, cross­ing a field be­fore spin­ning into a ditch on the side of a ser­vice road. A dozen peo­ple suf­fered in­juries as the 154 pas­sen­gers and seven crew on the Mum­bai bound flight were evac­u­ated, Jet said in a state­ment. “The flight 9W 2374 from GoaMum­bai skid­ded off the run­way at Dabolim air­port this morn­ing due to a tech­ni­cal glitch while align­ing for take­off,” the state­ment said.

De­cem­ber is the busiest month for Dabolim air­port, out­side state cap­i­tal Panjim, as hol­i­day­mak­ers flock to Goa’s palm fringed beaches and ex­otic tourist mar­kets dur­ing the win­ter sea­son. Tele­vi­sion images showed in­jured ly­ing on stretch­ers in dark­ness on the ser­vice road, with fire en­gines parked near the stricken plane, which ap­peared to have lost its front un­der­car­riage, and dam­aged a wing as it rested on its belly and en­gine cas­ings.

Some pas­sen­gers said they saw smoke in the cabin as the air­craft be­gan taxi­ing on the run­way. One of the in­jured de­scribed how the accident un­folded. “I frac­tured my leg,” said Di­nesh Ku­mar, a pas­sen­ger on Times Now TV chan­nel. “The mo­ment the plane started run­ning on the run­way, it slipped into the nearby field and there was smoke inside the flight.” A Jet Air­ways spokes­woman said the car­rier was look­ing into how the in­ci­dent oc­cured.

“It needs time for proper in­ves­ti­ga­tion to go on and we are co­op­er­at­ing with the DGCA (Di­rec­torate Gen­eral of Civil Avi­a­tion),” she said. The air­line is In­dia’s sec­ond largest pas­sen­ger car­rier. In a sep­a­rate in­ci­dent in New Delhi air­port, a Spicejet air­plane was pre­par­ing to take off at the same time as a flight run by Indigo had landed and was headed to the run­way’s taxi­way, but the pi­lots avoided a col­li­sion and noone was in­jured, the two com­pa­nies said in sep­a­rate state­ments.

Indigo and Spicejet said they were work­ing with au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gat­ing the in­ci­dent. Air travel is surg­ing in In­dia, one of the world’s fastest grow­ing economies. Pas­sen­ger num­bers on do­mes­tic flights jumped 21 per­cent in 2015 to more than 80 mil­lion. The gov­ern­ment fore­sees that num­ber grow­ing to 300 mil­lion by 2022. —Reuters

DABOLIM: Indian of­fi­cials gather be­side a Jet Air­ways Boe­ing 737 air­craft af­ter it skid­ded off the run­way fol­low­ing an aborted take-off at the Goa Air­port. —AFP

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