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Passenger plane skids off runway in Indonesia MANOKWARI - A routine domestic flight almost ended in disaster on Tuesday when a jet carrying more than 100 passengers broke apart on landing in Indonesia, injuring about 20 people, officials said. The Merpati airline Boeing 737 bounced off the tarmac at Rendani domestic airport in Manokwari, West Papua.

The plane then hurtled into trees and skidded into a shallow river, director general of civil aviation Herry Bhakti Singayuda said. "All the passengers were in a total panic, some even screamed and cried," said passenger Zainal Hayat, 52, who crawled out of a crack in the fuselage and was being treated at hospital with facial injuries.

The Merpati airline Boeing 737, which broke into pieces at Rendani domestic airport in Manokwari, West Papua. "We flew safely and the plane touched down smoothly on the runway but it just didn't stop. It skidded very fast and I felt it hit something twice before it stopped and tumbled down. I got out through a crack in the plane near my seat."

Singayuda said the plane came to a halt with its tail section in the river about 200 metres from the end of the landing strip. "All 103 passengers and six crew members are safe. Some are injured. They have been rushed to hospital," he said. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed that no Australians were no board the flight.

Heavy rain and fog were suspected of playing a part in the crash, he added, although expert investigators had yet to arrive at the scene. Manokwari Hospital emergency unit nurse Benget Hutagalung said "about 20" people had been brought in with shattered limbs and head injuries.

Witnesses said the left wing broke off as the plane smashed into the trees at the end of the runway. The cockpit was also almost completely separated from the rest of the fusilage. The plane was flying a routine domestic route from Sorong, also in West Papua province, to Manokwari, a distance of about 340 kilometres.

Transport ministry experts from the capital Jakarta were on their way to the rugged province in the far east of the country to investigate the crash, an official said. The vast archipelago of Indonesia relies heavily on air transport but has one of Asia's worst air safety records. Merpati airline corporate secretary Sukandi suggested that rain played a part in the crash and ruled out pilot error.

The Merpati Nusantara airline Boeing 737, which broke into pieces at Rendani domestic airport in Manokwari, West Papua.
The Merpati Nusantara airline Boeing 737, which broke into pieces at Rendani domestic airport in Manokwari, West Papua.



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Related blog entries (category 'Accidents') Tags: Manokwari, skid, runway, plane, Merpati

© SMH
Submitted by guna2

Posted in Accidents @ 13 April 2010 10:03 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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