Plane catches fire after attempted take-off in China

More than 40 people were injured when a Tibet Airlines passenger plane, with 113 passengers and 9 crew on board, left the runway and caught fire during takeoff in China on Thursday. This is the second major plane crash in the country in two months.

All 122 people aboard flight TV9833, en route from Chongqing, southwest China, to Nyingchi, Tibet Autonomous Region, were safely evacuated, according to information from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

The Airbus A319-100 had been in service with the airline for nine and a half years, according to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

After skidding on the airport runway, the plane burst into flames. Video footage posted by China Central Television (CCTV) showed flames and black smoke billowing from the plane’s fuselage. The crew aborted the start after the accident, which happened around 8:00 am (local time).

People could be seen running after escaping down a plane’s evacuation slide. The injured, most with bruises and sprains, were taken to a nearby hospital.

Caac reported that a team was sent to the scene to investigate the cause of the fire, which started when, after the plane left the runway, its engine touched the asphalt. The airline also confirmed that the accident is under investigation.

The fire was extinguished, but the runway remained closed. Two other runways at Chongqing Airport were operating normally, the company said.

An Indian Express report recalls that the accident occurred two months after China’s deadliest air disaster since 1994.

On March 12, a Boeing 737 aircraft en route from Kunming to Guangzhou crashed in Tengxian County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. All 132 people on board, including 9 crew members, died.

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