Authorities said the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) will remain closed until the skidded aircraft will be removed from the runway area. It is expected that the authorities need at least 4 hours to remove the aircraft from the runway area.
A Malindo Air Boeing 737-900ER (9M-LNJ) aircraft skidded off the runway after crew rejected takeoff at high-speed (about 150 knots over ground) due to takeoff configuration warning on Thursday at around 9:45 p.m. (Local Time) night and stopped along a grassy area near the airport Approach Lighting System (ALS) between the airport’s runways with the gears on soft ground, escaping the disaster at the airport.
There were 139 passengers onboard who were evacuated through the emergency doors. The aircraft is under the repair condition.
Airport spokesperson Mr. Prem Nath Thakur said, “The aircraft overran some 100 feet south from the runway but all the passengers are safe. Due to the heavy rain yesterday night, it was unable to remove the aircraft from the runway area, he added.
All international flights have been cancelled following the incident but now the authorities are working to open the flights towards the domestic sectors.
The cause of the incident is not clear yet. Thursday’s incident came just a month after a US-Bangla airlines flight crashed in TIA when it approached the runway, killing 49 people and injuring over a dozen.
In March 2015 Turkish Airlines aircraft also suffered a runway excursion during landing at TIA that had closed the country sole international airport for four days creating chaos among travelers.