SAS plane crashlands in Denmark, Q400s grounded

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COPENHAGEN, Oct 27 (Reuters) The landing gear of an SAS turboprop plane collapsed on landing at Copenhagen's Kastrup airport today, but no one was seriously injured.

None of the 44 people on the flight from Bergen, Norway was injured when the right main landing gear of the Q400 aircraft collapsed, Danish TV 2 quoted Copenhagen police as saying.

Television images showed the plane tip and swerve to its right as it landed before coming to a halt with the fuselage intact.

Ritzau said one of two runways at Kastrup airport was closed after the accident which took place around 2030 hrs IST. SAS and airport officials were not immediately available for comment.

The Scandinavian airline last month temporarily grounded its entire fleet of 27 Q400 planes, built by Canada's Bombardier , after two crash landings, one in Lithuania on Sept 12 and one in Denmark on Sept 9.

Both incidents involved problems with the planes' landing gear, in which no one was seriously hurt.

Ritzau quoted a spokesman for the Danish Civil Aviation Authority as saying the Scandinavian aviation authorities had issued a new flight ban on all SAS's Q400 turboprops, effective immediately, after Saturday's accident.

''Some of the aircraft are in the air at the moment in different parts of Europe, but when they land they will not be allowed to fly again,'' Thorbjorn Anker said.

The Q400 is designed for regional services and carries up to 78 passengers.

SAS, 50 per cent owned by the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, restarted Q400 flights this month after replacing part of the landing gear, and wants compensation from Bombardier to cover the losses.

SAS cancelled hundreds of flights last month after the first two incidents and said it would seek compensation totalling about 500 million Swedish crowns (78 million dollars) from Bombardier.

The collapse of the main landing gear in the September incidents has been attributed to corrosion, but official investigations by Lithuanian and Danish authorities have not yet been completed.

REUTERS PD BD2308

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