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Chongqing-Lhasa int’l flight overuns runway, catches fire at China airport; flyers evacuated safely | Watch

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Chongqing: A Chongqing-Lhasa internatinal flight overuns runway on Thursday morning at China’s Chongqing airport and caught on fire. According to state broadcaster CCTV, a plane took off from a runway in western China and caught fire. All the passengers evacuated safely.

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The flight, carrying 113 passengers and nine crew, was headed from the southwestern city of Chongqing to Tibet’s Nyingchi when “abnormalities” were noticed and take-off was suspended, causing the jet to overrun the runway, the company said in a statement.

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Unverified video on social media showed a 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 Tibet Airlines plane was about to depart for Nyingchi in Tibet when it ran off the runway at around 8am on Thursday morning.

Video footage posted by CCTV showed flames and billowing black smoke from the fuselage of the aircraft on the tarmac at Chongqing Jiangbei international airport.

People could be seen running from the plane after escaping via an evacuation slide at the rear door. CCTV said the fire had been extinguished and the runway closed.

All of the 113 passengers and nine crew were evacuated, the airline said in a post on social media platform Weibo. Some had been sent to hospital with mild injuries, it said.

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Flight TV9833 had been about to depart for Nyingchi in Tibet when the fire started. The airline has said the accident is under investigation. The Airbus A319-100 had been in service with the airline for 9½ years.

Chongqing airport said on Weibo that the fire began on the left side of the plane’s nose. The airport resumed normal operations by 10.30am. More than 40 passengers had gone to hospital with mild injuries, it said.

The accident – which occurred less than two months after China’s deadliest aviation disaster since 1994 – was Weibo’s top trending topic on Thursday morning.

China Eastern Airlines flight MU5735 plunged from a cruising altitude in the country’s south on March 21, killing all 132 people on board, according to a preliminary investigation report released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

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