AFP and AP
BANGKOK — A Thai Airways plane skidded off the runway in Bangkok after the landing gear malfunctioned, slightly injuring more than a dozen passengers as they evacuated the jet, the airline said Monday. The incident late on Sunday at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport involved an Airbus 330-300 carrying 288 passengers and 14 crew members on a flight from Guangzhou in southern China, the carrier said. The plane was seen resting on grass on Monday morning next to the runway with its evacuation slides still deployed and the Thai Airways name and logo hastily covered up. “Sparks were noticed from the vicinity of the right landing gear near the engine; the matter is under investigation,” the airline said in a statement. “The captain took control of the aircraft until it came to a complete stop and passengers were evacuated from the aircraft emergency exits. The operation was conducted by the captain and cabin crew strictly according to emergency procedures.” Fourteen people were slightly injured when they escaped down the emergency slides, Thai Airways said in an official statement.
This was a revision from earlier estimates, when a Thai Airways representative said 13 people had been injured during the evacuation procedure. Two of those injured remained at a Bangkok hospital late Monday. “They were sent to hospital but most of them received treatment and were discharged,” he added. The carrier said it would take about 24 hours to remove the aircraft, which could cause flight delays. The incident comes just over a week after dozens of passengers and crew were injured when a Thai Airways A380 superjumbo hit severe turbulence during a flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong.