Gulf Air plane veers off runway into muddy area

Posted By: Pti
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Kochi, Aug 29: At least seven passengers were injured as a Gulf Air plane from Bahrain with 137 passengers veered off the runway as it was landing at the international airport and went into a muddy area, damaging its nose wheel here early today (Aug 29).

One person, who suffered fractures, has been hospitalised while six other passengers with minor injuries were discharged after first aid, airport sources said.

As the nose wheel has been damaged, recovery was taking time due to which the runway has been closed for 10 hours, Airport Director ACK Nair told PTI.

"We are trying our best to partially open the runway as early as possible," he said.

The Gulf Air plane (GF 270) with six crew deviated from the runway at 3.55 am this morning. Some passengers panicked and jumped from the aircraft through the emergency door even before the ladder was brought to the plane, airport sources said.

Saithmohed (47) from Palakkad, who suffered some fractures, has been hospitalised. The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) E K Bharat Bhushan has ordered an enquiry into the incident.

Flights to Kochi are being diverted to Thiruvananthapuram and Bangalore airports, Nair said.

While an Etihad flight from Kuwait, two Jet airways flights from Sharjah and Muscat have been diverted to Thiruvananthapuram, an Oman-Kochi flight has been sent to Bangalore. Passengers are being brought by road to Kochi from Thiruvananthapuram.

The departure schedule of 3 flights -- belonging to Emirates, Air Arabia and Qatar flights, which were at the airport at the time of mishap, has been affected.

Bhushan said the runway has been blocked till 3 PM. A Disabled Aircraft Retrieval Kit is being sent from Mumbai, he said. Bhushan said the reason behind the mishap was not yet known.

"There was visibility till 2,000 metres. Only after a preliminary enquiry, the cause of the mishap will be known," he said. Heavy rains and strong winds have been lashing Kochi airport since last night.


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