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China’s Tibet Airlines Flight Aborts Takeoff, Catches Fire

There were no deaths and only minor injuries among the 113 passengers and nine crew members on board, the airline said in a statement


A screen grab of a Tibet Airlines aircraft on fire
A screen grab of the Tibet Airlines aircraft on fire: Courtesy: Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oofFstJ0eI)

 

A Tibet Airlines Airbus A319 aircraft caught fire after takeoff was aborted in the southwestern city of Chongqing on Thursday before all passengers and crew were evacuated.

There were no deaths and only minor injuries among the 113 passengers and nine crew members on board, the airline said in a statement.

The incident involving an Airbus A319 came less than two months after the deadly crash of a China Eastern Airlines plane led the country’s aviation regulator to launch a safety drive.

Unverified video on social media showed the Airbus A319 Tibet Airlines plane, a subsidiary of Air China, with heavy smoke and flames pouring from the left side of the aircraft as passengers and crew walked away.

The aircraft involved is a nine-year-old A319, one of the smallest versions of the A320 family. It is powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric and Safran, according to Airfleets.net.

Tibet Airlines is a regional airline based in Lhasa. It has a fleet of 39 planes, including 28 A319s, according to Airfleets.net.

On March 21, a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board crashed in mountains in southern China, killing everyone on board. So far there have been few clues about the cause of the accident.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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