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Saudi Airlines 767 Makes Emergency Landing in Medina; 29 Injured

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Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 767 carrying 315 passengers from Mashhad, Iran, made an emergency landing in Medina after problems with its landing gear.

The forced landing this morning injured 29 people, 11 of whom are still hospitalized, the General Authority of Civil Aviation said in an e-mail.

The aircraft’s wheels failed to release before arrival at Prince Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport. The airport is closed for 24 hours and flights are being diverted to Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabian Airlines spokesman Abdullah al-Ajhar said by phone.

“Boeing is aware of reports of the accident and is gathering more information,” a spokeswoman for Boeing Co. said via e-mail in response to questions.

GACA’s aviation investigations office is reviewing the incident, spokesman Khalid Al-Khaibary said in the statement.

Undercarriage problems on aircraft aren’t unusual and commonly don’t result in loss of life, serious injury, or serious damage to the aircraft, said Paul Hayes, director of safety at Ascend Worldwide Ltd.

“It happens on the 767 occasionally as with other types of planes,” Hayes said referring to the gear-up landing by a LOT Boeing 767-300ER in 2011. “The 767 hasn’t got a bad reputation, it has a good safety record.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Deema Almashabi in Riyadh at dalmashabi@bloomberg.net; Deena Kamel Yousef in Dubai at dhussein1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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