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Thai Air Confirms Plane's Forced Landing

Sat Jun 09, 2001 12:50 am

Thai Air confirms plane's forced landing

Jet leaves trail of fuel on runway as it lands safely

(BANGKOK) Thai Airways International confirmed yesterday that one of its aircraft was forced to make an emergency night landing in central Vietnam on Tuesday after developing a problem with its fuel system.

'A warning signal appeared indicating problems with the fuel system and the pilot decided to divert and land the flight at the nearest airport, which was in Danang, Vietnam, in order to ensure maximum safety of all passengers,' the airline said in a statement. The national carrier said there were no reports of injuries among the 303 passengers aboard the flight, which was en route from Taipei to Bangkok.

Airport officials in Danang said the passengers and 19 crew were safely evacuated from the aircraft which left a trail of aviation fuel on the runway during its landing.

The passengers were flown to Bangkok aboard a special flight later in the day.

Thai Airways said spare parts for the damaged Boeing 777-200 had been sent over and the aircraft was expected to resume its scheduled operations. The incident follows the explosion in March this year of another Thai jet as it sat at Bangkok's main airport waiting for passengers, including Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, to board.

Although the near-disaster was initially blamed on saboteurs, US investigators found there was no evidence a bomb was to blame and concluded that the blast originated in the plane's centre-wing fuel tank in hot weather. - AFP