Thursday August 25, 2011
Twin Otter veers off runway at Lawas Airport, 16 passengers and 2 crew safe
By STEPHEN THEN
MIRI: A MASwings 19-seater Twin Otter aircraft crash-landed in Lawas Airport yesterday, with its nose taking much of the impact.
The plane skidded some 10m before coming to a standstill in a field by the runway.
A statement from MASwings last night said flight MH3156 from Miri had veered off the runway after it touched down at the airport around 3.30pm.
“However, there were no casualties and all 16 passengers and two operating crew of the flight disembarked safely after the aircraft came to a stop,” the statement said.
“MASwings is sending an inves- tigation and recovery team from Kota Kinabalu to Lawas by land to remove the aircraft from the site. For the time being, Lawas Airport is closed for all flight operations until the airfield is cleared.”
The plane, which is halfway down the runway, would be guarded by security personnel from Malaysia Airports Bhd and the police until it is removed.
The airline also said it would extend its full co-operation to the Civil Aviation Department which was investigating the incident.
“This is an isolated incident and safety remains a high priority in the company,” it concluded.
Meanwhile, Ba’Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian, when contacted, said he was informed that no one was injured in the incident.
“My contact also informed me that the aircraft was slammed by strong wind as it was landing,” Baru added.
Former Ba’Kelalan assemblyman Nelson Balang Rining said his cousin Joel Bawar was at the airport when the incident happened.
According to him, Joel told him that none of the passengers suffered any serious injuries.
When contacted soon after the incident, a Malaysia Airports Bhd official at the Lawas Airport terminal said: “The plane is still at the crash site.”
Prodded further, the official said: “The airport has been closed until further notice and all flights into Lawas have been suspended for now.”