Passengers escape injury in Lithuania plane crash

A plane with 52 people aboard crash landed in Lithuania on Wednesday but no one was hurt, the airport said, in the second such accident this week involving a turboprop of the Scandinavian SAS airline.

Passengers escape injury in Lithuania plane crash
A plane with 52 people aboard crash landed in Lithuania on Wednesday but no one was hurt, the airport said, in the second such accident this week involving a turboprop of the Scandinavian SAS airline.

The plane ploughed through the ground with its fuselage and right wing and slid off the runway at Vilnius airport when the crew decided to put down there after noticing in flight that landing gear had failed.

Following a crash of the same type of SAS plane on Sunday in Denmark, also due to landing gear problems, the airline said it was grounding the Canadian DHC-8-400 aircraft and cancelling 112 flights.

None of the 48 passengers or 4 crew was injured in Wednesday's accident involving the plane, popularly known as the Dash 8, SAS said in a statement. The accident happened at 1.48 a.m. local time (2248 GMT), it added.

"The plane was en route from Copenhagen to the western Lithuanian town Palanga when the crew noted the failure of the front and right landing gear," said Vilnius airport spokesman Arunas Marcinkevicius.

The crew then decided to land in Vilnius, which has a longer and broader runway.

Emergency crews raced to the scene to evacuate the passengers and crew, but no one was injured, he added.

Another SAS operated plane of the same type with 73 people on board crashed on Sunday due to landing gear failure in Aalborg in western Denmark, but no one was seriously injured.

The twin-engine turboprop is produced by Canada's Bombardier . Its Q400 version can seat between 68 and 78 passengers, depending on configuration.

Reuters
Last Mod: 12 Eylül 2007, 14:03
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