tibet airlines: Chinese plane breaks off take-off, catches fire and causes minor injuries from evacuation

BEIJING: China’s Tibet Airlines said all passengers and crew had been evacuated from an Airbus A319 plane that caught fire Thursday after a broken take-off in the southwestern city of Chongqing.
There were no fatalities and only minor injuries among the 113 passengers and nine crew on board, the airline said in a statement.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said 36 people suffered bruises and sprains during the evacuation of Flight TV9833 and were sent to local hospitals for examination.
The pilots had interrupted take-off in accordance with procedures after experiencing an anomaly, CAAC said in a statement, leading to an engine scrape and fire after the plane veered off the runway.
Emergency plans were activated and investigators rushed to the scene, the aviation regulator added.
The incident took place less than two months after the deadly crash of a China Eastern Airlines plane prompted the CAAC to launch sector-wide inspections to identify potential safety issues.
Unverified video on social media showed an aircraft operated by Tibet Airlines, an Air China subsidiary, with heavy smoke and flames pouring from the left side of the aircraft as passengers and crew fled.
Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport said the plane caught fire at 8:09 am local time (0009 GMT).
According to unverified photos on social media, evacuation slides were deployed, often causing minor injuries.
The aircraft concerned is a nine-year-old A319, one of the smallest versions of the A320 family. According to Airfleets.net, it is powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric and Safran.
Airbus said it is aware of media reports of the incident and is doing everything it can to assess the situation.
Tibet Airlines is a regional airline based in Lhasa. It has a fleet of 39 aircraft, including 28 A319s, according to Airfleets.net.
On March 21, a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 with 132 people on board crashed into the mountains of southern China, killing everyone on board. So far there is little evidence about the cause of the accident.
The tragedy shocked a country that had one of the best safety records in the world and whose airline industry was one of the world’s fastest growing passenger transport markets for the past decade prior to COVID.

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