BANGKOK, December 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Not less than 1016 passengers spent overnight from Thursday to Friday in Phuket International Airport in Thailand due to emergency landing of the Airbus A-330 of Air Berlin air company including 200 Russians, the airport administration told ITAR-TASS.
Overnight from Thursday to Friday some flights were taking off for Russia from Phuket International Airport, including transshipment flights via Qatar and China. However after the emergency landing of the German air carrier’s plane the airport’s take-off runway was closed for six hours. In the meantime the emergency services experts were evacuating the airbus and collecting the undercarriage fragments from the runway. Board Air Berlin A-B 7425 took off for Abu-Dhabi on schedule at 21.46 local time (00.46 MT) sharp on Thursday. After 40 minutes of flight the pilots reported engine malfunction and turned the aircraft heading for Phuket. The airbus with 249 passengers aboard made an emergency landing. Nobody was hurt.
‘In the course of an emergency landing some tyre casing on the landing gear was torn”, Phuket International Airport director Prateung Sornkham told ITAR-TASS. We were compelled to replace the airbus’ wheels right on the runway, to later tow it off to a secure place. In his words, late on Friday the mechanics are to arrive to the airport. They will carry out a thorough inspection of the aircraft’s engines to definitely determine the cause of the failure.
To encourage the passengers, who were obliged to spend the night in the airport, the governor of the Phuket province Maitri Inthusut arrived in the airport. “The passengers understand these were force majeure events and we will do all in our power to set things right”, he emphasized. At present planes take off and land in a normal mode at Phuket International Airport, he said.