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Thai Air Plane Says 13 Injured as Plane Skids off Runway

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Sept. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Thai Airways International Pcl, the country’s biggest airline, said 13 people sustained minor injuries during the evacuation of an Airbus SAS A330-300 that skidded off the runway after landing in Bangkok late yesterday.

Flight TG 679, traveling from Guangzhou with 288 passengers and 14 crew, veered off the runway at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport after its landing gear malfunctioned on landing, the company said in an e-mailed statement today. One of the two runways in the aerodrome, Southeast Asia’s second busiest, will be shut down for 48 hours.

“Sparks were noticed from the vicinity of the right landing gear near the engine,” Thai Air President Sorajak Kasemsuvan said in the statement. “The captain took control of the aircraft until it came to a complete stop and passengers were evacuated from the aircraft emergency exits.”

It’s the second incident involving a Thai Air aircraft in the past two weeks. Cabin attendants and 37 passengers on one of the airline’s A380-800 jets were injured during unforeseen turbulence on a descent to Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport last month.

Passengers injured last night were transferred to a local hospital, Thai Air said in its statement. The cause of the accident is being investigated, it said.

“We are aware of the A330 incident from Thai in Bangkok and stand ready to fully support the authorities in their investigations,” said Stefan Schaffrath, an Airbus press spokesman in Toulouse, France.

Airports of Thailand Pcl, which operates Suvarnabhumi airport, will need time to remove the aircraft as well as repair a 300-meter section of the runway, Chairman Sita Divari told reporters today. The affected runway can still be used by small planes for takeoff.

The airport operator has placed Don Mueang and U Tapao airports on standby, it said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tony Jordan in Bangkok at tjordan3@bloomberg.net; Suttinee Yuvejwattana in Bangkok at suttinee1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net