Tibet Airlines plane catches fire after skidding off runway at China airport

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A Tibet Airlines plane caught fire after skidding off the runway in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing on Thursday morning.

All 113 passengers and nine crew members were “safely evacuated,” the airline said in a statement. More than 40 passengers with minor injuries were taken to hospital, according to a statement from Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said 36 people suffered contusions and sprains during the evacuation.

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“According to the crew, the aircraft experienced an anomaly during takeoff. They aborted the maneuver following procedures,” CAAC said. “After the aircraft skidded off the runway, the left engine brushed the ground and caught fire.”

The cause of the accident is under investigation and flight operations at the airport have returned to normal, the airport said.

The flight schedule shows that the aircraft is an Airbus A319 that had been in service with the airline for nine and a half years.

The incident comes less than two months after a China Eastern Airlines passenger jet carrying 132 people crashed in the mountains of southern China’s Guangxi region, killing everyone on board.