Global Economy

Chinese jet aborts takeoff, catches fire, causing minor injuries


China’s Tibet Airlines said all passengers and crew had been evacuated from an Airbus A319 plane that caught fire after an aborted takeoff in the southwestern city of Chongqing on Thursday.

There were no deaths and only minor injuries among the 113 passengers and nine crew members on board, the airline said in a statement, which did not cite the number injured.

Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport said in a statement more than 40 passengers had minor injuries.

The left side of the front of the aircraft caught fire in the incident at 8:09 a.m. local time (0009 GMT), according to the airport, which said an investigation was under way.

The incident came less than two months after the deadly crash of a China Eastern Airlines plane led the country’s aviation regulator to launch a safety drive.

Unverified video on social media showed a Tibet Airlines plane, a subsidiary of Air China, with heavy smoke and flames pouring from the left side of the aircraft as passengers and crew walked away.

The aircraft involved is a nine-year-old A319, one of the smallest versions of the A320 family. It is powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric and Safran, according to Airfleets.net.

Airbus said it was aware of media reports about the incident and was making all efforts to assess the situation.

Tibet Airlines is a regional airline based in Lhasa. It has a fleet of 39 planes, including 28 A319s, according to Airfleets.net.

On March 21, a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board crashed in mountains in southern China, killing everyone on board. So far there have been few clues about the cause of the accident.



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