Malfuncting Plane Injures 14 Passengers, Closes Dubai Airport

A Bangladeshi plane suffered a wheel failure as it was taking off from Dubai on Monday, injuring 14 passengers and causing an eight-hour closure of the Middle East's busiest airport, aviation officials and passengers said.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Flight 006 was accelerating down the runway at 6:30 a.m. when a malfunction occurred that caused its nose and engines to slam into the ground, airport officials said.

The 236 passengers and crew were quickly evacuated and the injured were taken to hospital, the officials said. All injuries were said to be minor.

Nearly three dozen flights to Dubai were diverted after Civil Aviation authorities closed the airport. The flights were rerouted to other Emirates airports, as well as neighboring Oman and Iran - on the other side of the Gulf.

The airport reopened in the early afternoon.

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority issued a photo of the Airbus A-310 that showed the plane tipped forward and resting on its engines, which were partially crushed. Long, curving skid marks were visible on the runway, tailing out from both sides of the jet.

An airport official declined to say exactly what had happened, but said the wheels were being replaced. The photo showed a trailer containing spare wheels parked near the jet. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Earlier officials said it appeared that a tire had burst, but this was not confirmed.

The plane was traveling to the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. The incident left thousands of passengers stranded at the two terminals of Dubai International Airport, the busiest in the Middle East.

Emily Fleckner, 34, an American living in Dubai, was waiting to board a flight to Jordan when sirens blared and a swarm of emergency vehicles dashed down the runway.

"I knew something went wrong," Fleckner said.

The airport's public address system told travelers that all outgoing flights had been delayed until further notice, Fleckner said.

___

On the Net:

http://www.dubaiairport.com


Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.

Loading