Press Trust of india

Plane skids off runway in Nepal; close shave for 21 on board

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Kathmandu, Sep 2:  All 21 people on board a Nepalese passenger plane had a miraculous escape when the aircraft skidded off the recently repaired runway of the Nepal’s international airport here and got stuck in a grassy field nearby, officials said Sunday.

The Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) was closed for some 12-hours that left thousands of people stranded after a Yeti Airlines aircraft skidded off its runway on Saturday night.

All passengers and crew members on board were safe in the incident that brought the airport services to a halt, forcing inbound aircraft to be diverted to New Delhi, Dhaka and Lucknow, the Himalayan Times reported.

The Jetstream 41 was carrying 21 passengers from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu.

Normal operation of domestic and international flights has resumed at 8:25 am Sunday after almost 12 hours, according to a TIA duty officer. The Yeti airlines aircraft that slipped to the grassy field adjoining the runaway has been removed to the parking lot.

After skidding off the runway, the aircraft had reached the grassy field nearby.

The incident comes amid mounting safety concerns over cracks on the runway’s surface, which was repaired only recently.

The latest incident is one of the many plane accidents that Nepal’s airport has witnessed in recent years.

In March, a Dhaka to Kathmandu US-Bangla Airlines flight, with 67 passengers and four crew members on board, caught fire after it careened off the runway and ploughed into a football ground near the airport, killing 51 people.

In April, all 139 people on board a Malaysian passenger plane had a miraculous escape when the Kuala Lumpur-bound flight skidded off the runway and got stuck in mud while attempting to take off from the airport.

Nepal’s only international airport lies in a narrow bowl-shaped valley with the Himalayas to the north, making it a challenging place to land.

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