Gulf Air plane veers off runway at Kochi airport

Last Updated: Monday, August 29, 2011 - 11:45

Kochi: 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 on Monday.

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 said.

"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) EK 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 3.00.

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.

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 29, 2011 - 08:24

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