MORE than 40 people were taken to the hospital after a Tibet Airlines plane burst into flames after veering off the runway during takeoff at China’s Chongqing Airport.
The front of the Airbus SE A319 aircraft was engulfed in flames and enveloped by thick black smoke, footage posted on social media showed. Passengers carrying bags and other items were seen on the tarmac running away from the burning jet.
All 113 passengers and nine crew onboard the flight were evacuated, Tibet Airlines said in a statement posted on Weibo. More than 40 passengers suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital, Chongqing Airport said in a statement.
The plane suffered “abnormalities” and the take-off was aborted, Tibet Airlines said, without elaborating. The carrier is a subsidiary of state-owned national carrier Air China Ltd.
The plane was due to fly from Chongqing in China’s southwest to Nyingchi in Tibet. Flights are now arriving and departing Chongqing as normal, the airport said.
The incident comes less than two months after a China Eastern Airlines Corp. plane crashed in the southwestern province of Guangxi, killing all 132 passengers and crew.