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Jet skids off runway amid thick haze in Indonesia

Tuesday, 3 October 2006 - 11:46am IST | Agency: AFP
A jetliner carrying 110 people skidded off a runway into a swamp in Indonesia's eastern Kalimantan province on Tuesday in thick haze, but no one was injured, an airport official said.

JAKARTA: A jetliner carrying 110 people skidded off a runway into a swamp in Indonesia's eastern Kalimantan province on Tuesday in thick haze, but no one was injured, an airport official said.


The Mandala Airlines Boeing 737-200 flying from the provincial capital of Balikpapan skidded upon landing at 11:20 am (0420 GMT) at the airport in Tarakan on the Indonesian portion of Borneo, said the official, Nafiq.


Tarakan was engulfed in a thick, choking haze caused by ground and forest fires raging in Indonesia. Staff at the local meteorology station near the airport said that visibility was only 400 meters (yards) when the plane landed.


"The aircraft was landing according to proper procedures, following an instrument approach," Nafiq said when asked why the plane was landing in such poor conditions.


Indonesian air safety regulations require visibilty of at least 1,000 meters for a manual landing.


Mandala spokesman Alex Wijoyo Cundo said in Jakarta that the plane was carrying 104 passengers and a crew of six.


Nafiq said that two people were suffering shock.


"The aircraft's body remains intact, only parts of it are now in the swamp some 50 meters off the runway," he said.


In September 2005, engine failure brought down a Mandala Airlines Boeing 737-200 north of Medan in Sumatra province, killing 150 people.


Mandala, established in 1969, operates a fleet of 12 Boeing aircraft, mostly 737-200s, to serve routes linking Jakarta and 12 provincial capitals.




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