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Plane headed for Tibet catches fire at takeoff from China, no casualties reported

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(TibetanReview.net, May13’22) – Even as no headway has been reported in the investigation of the crash of a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane in March this year in southeastern China, despite the speedy recovery of the two black boxes, China saw another plane accident on May 12 morning. A Tibet Airlines plane headed for the Tibetan city of Nyingtri veered off the runway and caught fire at the Chongqing airport in southwest China, reported China’s official media May 12.

Nyingtri is an area in Tibet with a very high concentration of Chinese immigrants due to its relatively low altitude and congenial surrounding, which also makes it a major tourist attraction as well.

The plane in the Mar 21 crash was en route from the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong, bordering Hong Kong, when it crashed in mountains in southern China. All the 132 people on board died.

In the case of the Tibet Airlines plane accident at Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, all the 113 passengers and nine crew members were evacuated. Around 40 slightly injured passengers were sent to local hospitals for treatment, reported China’s official global.chinadaily.com.cn May 12.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China’s Southwest Regional Administration has said the flight crew reported that the Airbus A319-115 aircraft displayed some abnormalities during takeoff, so the pilot immediately aborted the takeoff according to safety procedures. At that point the plane veered off the runway, and an engine caught fire after scraping the ground. The fire was eventually extinguished.

“I heard some unusual noise when the flight was taking off,” the official chinadaily.com.cn May 13 quoted Long Anquan, a frequent flier for business trips, as saying. “One to two seconds later, the aircraft body tilted sharply.”

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