Vietjet plane loses wheels on landing in Central Highlands

By Doan Loan   November 29, 2018 | 06:55 pm PT
Six passengers were hospitalized Thursday after the nose wheels of a Vietjet plane flew off while landing.
A compilation photo of the Vietjet aircraft (R) that had problem upon landing at Buon Ma Thuot Airport on Thursday night and the planes steering rod without the nose wheels.

A compilation photo of the Vietjet aircraft (R) that had problem upon landing at Buon Ma Thuot Airport on Thursday night and the plane's steering rod without the nose wheels.

Passengers were forced to escape via emergency doors after a flight from Ho Chi Minh City made a rough landing at the Buon Ma Thuot Airport in the Central Highlands.

The plane wobbled and made a loud noise as it landed, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) confirmed with local media Friday morning.

The cabin crew carried out emergency procedures, with 207 passengers on board forced to leave all baggage behind and escape the plane through emergency doors. 

Six of the passengers who suffered injuries were rushed to a local hospital for treatment, the CAAV said. Four of them have since been discharged and others are in stable condition.

A Vietjet Air representative said the aircraft's nose wheels went missing upon landing, but it managed to come to a complete halt safely on the runway.

On Friday morning, one nose wheel has been found, 100 meters (330 feet) from the runway.

The budget air carrier is actively working with relevant agencies to deal with the issue, the representative said.

An unnamed passenger told VnExpress the plane had lost balance when it was about to touch down.

"I heard a loud noise and the plane suddenly stopped," the 48-year-old man said.

Five minutes later, the flight attendants urged all passengers on board to leave the plane through emergency exits.

"It was extremely chaotic with lots of screams. People were scared and they jostled each other to escape as soon as possible. I could not manage to put on my shoes," he said.

It took everyone three minutes to leave the aircraft, he said, adding that he saw a long scratch caused by the plane's steering rod on the runway.

An injured passenger during the escape receives care from medica staff. Photo by VnExpress/Le Van

An injured passenger (R) receives care from airport staff. Photo by VnExpress/Le Van

Media reports said Vietjet received the aircraft from Airbus two weeks ago.

Airport authorities have launched an urgent investigation into the accident.

Following the accident, the Buon Ma Thuot Airport was temporarily closed for eight hours and is scheduled to resume operations from noon on Friday.

Several flights to Buon Ma Thuot, around 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of resort town Da Lat, were canceled, airport officials said.

Vietnam's aviation industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years. The country served more than 53 million air passengers in the first half of this year, up 14 percent from a year ago.

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