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January 11, 2011

AirAsia Jet Skids Off Runway in Malaysia, Injuring Four

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Written by: BNO News
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Four people were injured on Monday evening when an AirAsia passenger plane skidded off the runway at an airport in Malaysia, officials and the airline said on Tuesday.

AirAsia A320 9M-AFK at Kuala Lumpur Airport

AirAsia A320 (9M-AFK) departs Kuala Lumpur. (Photo by Jyi1693, CC-BY-SA-3.0)

The incident happened on Monday evening at around 10.02 p.m. local time when AirAsia flight AK5218, an Airbus A320, was landing at Kuching International Airport near Kuching. It had just completed a nearly 2 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the nation’s capital.

“Upon landing on runway 25 at 10.02pm, during heavy rain, [the aircraft] skidded and veered of the runway at Kuching International Airport,” a statement from Malaysia Airports Bhd said. “All passengers were evacuated safely from the aircraft.”

AirAsia, however, confirmed that four of its passengers were injured during the incident. “Guests were rushed to [the] hospital for check-up and [their] condition is stable,” the airline said.

Some 14 hours after the incident, the aircraft was still at the scene and has forced the closure of the entire airport. “Actions to remove aircraft, together with AirAsia Engineering Team, are currently undertaken but the removal works are currently hampered by the continuous heavy rain since last night,” Malaysia Airports Bhd added in their statement.

With the exception of one departing flight at 7.30 a.m. local time on Tuesday, all arriving and departing flights have been canceled at Kuching International Airport until further notice. As of early Tuesday afternoon, more than 30 flights were affected.

In November 2004, two passengers and two pilots suffered minor injuries when a Boeing 737-300 belonging to AirAsia skidded off the runway at Kota Kinabalu International Airport in Malaysia.



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