TAIPEI, Oct 3 Taiwan's China Airlines 2610.TW, the island's largest carrier, repl

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TAIPEI, Oct 3 (Reuters) Taiwan's China Airlines <2610.TW>, the island's largest carrier, replaced its chairman just over a month after one of its jets exploded after landing at Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

China Airlines chairman Philip Wei was replaced by Ringo Chao, who also serves as the company's president, the company said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange late on Tuesday.

On Aug 20, the left engine of a China Airlines Boeing 737-800 jet caught fire shortly after arrival in Naha city from Taipei, ripping the plane apart, officials and witnesses said, but all 165 passengers and crew escaped safely.

No reason for Wei's replacement was given in the statement.

A Japanese Transport Ministry team investigating the fire said a bolt on the right wing of the plane appeared to have ripped through a fuel tank.

China Airlines has a troubled safety record, with four deadly accidents in the past 13 years, including a crash in the Japanese city of Nagoya in 1994 in which 264 people were killed.

China Airlines' shares closed up 0.7 percent on Tuesday at T$13.75, lagging a 1.42 percent rise on the broader market.

(US$1 = T$32.9) Reuters SBA VP0618

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