Tuesday, 21 August 2007

China Airlines Jet bursts into flames after landing

Today at Naha Airport on the Japanese island of Okinawa a China Airlines aircraft burst into flames.

There were 165 people onboard all of whom managed to escape. Some only just made it when the plane exploded just seconds before they had evacuated.

Television pictures showed flames and smoke pouring out the 737-800 and even showed the pilot jumping out the cockpit window.

The Airline has said the cause of the explosion is not yet known but some reports have said that the left engine of the plane caught fire.

"Everything was normal, including take-off and landing, until the pilots were told the airplane was on fire," China Airlines spokesman Johnson Sun said.

"Then the crew on board immediately took the due procedure to evacuate all the passengers."

The plane had embarked on a routine flight from Taipei to Okinawa but after only 8 minutes after landing on the Japanese island black smoke and fire was seen coming from the plane.

The aircraft had actually broken in two after the fire was put out. There were 8 members of crew onboard the flight and all eight are reported to be safe despite reports that two had to be taken to hospital.

China Airlines have a reputation for being one of the unsafest airlines in the world and this recent incident will only add fuel to that belief.
During the 1990s the airline had several crashes and in 2002 one crashed into the sea near Penghu with 225 passengers onboard.

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