JAKARTA, May 31 – A Indonesian passenger plane carrying 146 people skidded off the runway as it landed in the eastern Papua region Wednesday, an official said, the latest mishap to hit the country’s aviation sector. No one was hurt after the Boeing aircraft operated by domestic carrier Sriwijaya Air overshot the wet runway at the airport in Manokwari city, said transport ministry spokesman J. Adravida Barata.
TV footage showed people being evacuated from the plane, as it rested on its belly on grass next to the runway. The airport will be closed for several hours so that the plane can be removed, Barata added. It is just the latest of many accidents for Indonesia’s air transport sector. In February, a Sriwijaya plane carrying 192 people from China to Bali was forced to turn back after the crew realised one of its doors was not properly closed.
In the same month, a passenger plane operated by Indonesian flag carrier Garuda skidded off the runway as it landed at the airport serving the city of Yogyakarta in heavy rain. The aviation sector has been booming in recent years as a growing middle class increasingly use planes to get around the vast archipelago, but critics say safety standards have not kept pace with the expansion. — AFP