Thursday, August 13

Aircraft skids on KIA runway


KUCHING: Passengers of an AirAsia flight last night (Monday night) experienced a rude shock when the aircraft skidded on the Kuching International Airport runway upon landing.

WHAT'S HAPPENING?: Anxious members of the public wait at KIA for passengers and latest updates from ground staff.

The incident happened around 10.15pm during a heavy downpour.

Initially, sources said four of the over 100 passengers were unwell. Some of those involved are said to suffer from asthma and heart problems, but the seriousness of their conditions could not be established.

Ambulances were, however, seen rushing to KIA to attend to passengers.

After the plane stopped moving, passengers said a flight attendant instructed them to calm down.

At some point smoke became visible inside the plane, leading to the opening of exit doors and activation of emergency slides.

The Borneo Post received a call from Balai Ringin assemblyman Snowdan Lawan, who was on the plane with his wife Melinda Claudia, regarding the incident around 10.30pm.

He said the first thing he grabbed was his small cabin beg as it contained important documents.

SHAKEN BUT WELL: Snowdan (front second left) speaks to reporters.

Snowdan, who is Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) deputy secretary, said he travels regularly and had never had such a bad experience before.

He even lost his shoes in the mud. He and several others had to walk barefooted to the fire and rescue centre where they received attention from airport staff.

Snowdan said there were several children on the plane and most passengers were badly shaken by the ordeal.

He said it was possible the plane’s front tyre might have been damaged because he felt the plane was tilted at the front.

PLEASE HELP: A woman tries to get information from a staff member.

Around 11.30pm at the airport lobby, relatives and friends of the passengers as well as members of the media were seen waiting for news.

The flight had taken off from Kuala Lumpur around 7.40pm.

YOU'RE OKAY: Passengers console each other after the ordeal.

Prior to the incident, Snowdan said he had a premonition something bad was going to happen.

He said there was turbulence during the flight, probably because of the heavy rain.

“Fortunately, there was no report of fatality. However, most of us passengers were shaken,” he said.

Meanwhile, a few AirAsia flights were reportedly cancelled today (Tuesday).

A regular traveller said no reason was given for the cancellations.

“If it was not because of last night’s incident, then it should be due to the heavy rain today,” he said.