Tire explodes as aircraft takes off from HCMC airport

By Huu Cong   March 18, 2020 | 04:41 am PT
Tire explodes as aircraft takes off from HCMC airport
Smoke seen at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City on March 18, 2020 after an aircraft tire explodes. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Minh.
The tire of a Vietnam Airlines Airbus A321 aircraft exploded Wednesday as it took off from HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The accident happened at 4.30 p.m as flight VN-A392 took off to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The tire got detached from the aircraft and lit a fire in the nearby grass that lasted for about 10 minutes before it was put down. The smoke could be observed from outside of the airport.

No passengers were injured and Vietnam Airlines sent another aircraft to resume the flight which was rescheduled to 6 p.m.

The state-owned carrier said in a statement that it is cooperating with authorities to investigate the accident.

Vietnam Airlines flights had encountered tire issues several times last year at the Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai airports in HCMC and Hanoi.

From January to September last year, there were as many as 54 incidents when aircraft tires were cut by rocks, gravel, nails and other objects on the runway.

Officials have said often that runways of the two largest airports in the country have been overused and need repairs. The Ministry of Transport has proposed a two-year VND4.15 trillion ($179 million) repair plan.

Tan Son Nhat, the largest airport in Vietnam, received over 40 million passengers in 2019, 1.6 times higher than its intended capacity of 25 million per year, while Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, with a design capacity of 21 million, handled 29 million, according to official data.

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