Air Berlin jet makes emergency landing in Thailand

An Air Berlin jet carrying 249 passengers burst a tyre as it made a dramatic emergency landing on a Thai resort island after experiencing engine trouble, the director of Phuket airport said Friday.

The Airbus A330 flight from Phuket to Abu Dhabi got into trouble nearly an hour after take off late Thursday and was forced to return to the tourist island, slamming onto the runway as it landed.

The airline said all 249 passengers on board were unharmed in the incident.

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"An emergency landing took place after the pilot told the control tower that the plane's left engine ran into trouble," airport director Prathuang Sornkhom told AFP.

"The tyre bust because the jet slammed hard onto the runway," he said, adding the airport was closed for six hours following the incident.

Air Berlin confirmed the incident and said all the passengers were safe and "in good health".

"A fire in the engine has not been confirmed," it said in a statement, adding an investigation was underway.

Renowned for its glorious beaches, clear water and wild nightlife Phuket is Thailand's largest island and one of the kingdom's most popular destinations with foreign tourists.

by Hammoud Mounassar © 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Dec 21, 2012