Airliner catches fire on takeoff (VIDEOS) — RT World News

A passenger plane caught fire as it took off from an airport in southwest China, with local officials saying one of its engines scraped the runway before bursting into flames.

A flight departing Chongqing airport for Nyingchi city on Thursday morning encountered a “anomaly” and veered off the track, igniting an engine after briefly hitting the tarmac.

“There was an anomaly during the takeoff process and the takeoff was aborted according to procedure. After deviating from the runway, the engine swept the ground and caught fire,” local aviation officials said in a statement, noting that it “is now extinct.”

All 122 people on board – including 113 passengers and nine crew – were safely evacuated, Tibet Airlines said, although around 40 were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The incident was captured in videos shared by local media, one showing a large column of black smoke rising skyward as first responders attempt to put out the blaze.

The airport said the left side of the craft, an Airbus SE A319, caught fire, and added that an investigation was ongoing. The plane was nine years old, Reuters reported, citing a website that collects aviation data. Airbus said it was aware of the incident and was still reviewing the situation.

Thursday’s runway incident comes less than two months after a fatal crash involving a Boeing 737-800 operated by China Eastern Airlines killed all 132 passengers and crew on board during a flight from Kunming to Guangzhou March 21th. the black boxes were “severely damaged” in the crash, complicating the probe into the crash.

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