Injuries reported in plane drama

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 June, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 June, 1999, 12:00am

A jet veered off the runway and its landing gear collapsed at a Guangdong airport yesterday, injuring some of the 73 passengers on board.

The China Southern Airlines Boeing 737 had flown from Shantou via Guangzhou to Zhanjiang, where it landed in bad weather, an airport official said.

It was not clear which set of landing gear broke during the landing nor the extent of the damage.

The official put the number of casualties at four but a spokeswoman for Zhanjiang Public Security Bureau said only three passengers were injured.

The policewoman said: 'Three passengers have been slightly injured and are being treated at hospital. The pilots are not hurt. The aircraft is seriously damaged, however. The Zhanjiang Government has set up an emergency group to investigate the accident.' A nurse at a hospital said five people had been injured, including an SAR citizen and a Japanese national. All had been released after treatment for minor wounds, she said.

It was not clear what caused the accident but the official said there had been lightning, heavy rain and strong winds when the aircraft landed.

A passenger from Hong Kong told an SAR television station the aircraft shook violently when it landed.

She said: 'There was a big bump when the plane first touched down. It bounced up and landed again. The airplane ended up sitting on its tail on the runway. Both wings were badly damaged.' The woman said about six passengers appeared to have suffered injuries or complained of dizziness and cramp.