RAWALPINDI: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight, PK-451 with 123 passengers and crew members on board and en route to Skardu veered off the runway during landing at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA) on Monday.

After taking off for Skardu at about 12:30 pm, the pilot of PIA Airbus A-320 noticed a problem with the hydraulics and turned the plane back to BBIA for emergency landing. The tyres of the plane burst during landing, causing the plane to veer off the runway. One of the engines was damaged when the plane hit the lights installed along the runway. Passengers and crew members remained safe and there were no reports of injuries. Those on board the plane were evacuated and all passengers disembarked safely.

The runway was closed and flight operations were suspended at the airport after the incident, which were to resume after 9pm on Monday. A number of flights were diverted to other destinations or cancelled.

A PIA spokesperson said that the Skardu bound flight PK-451 was scheduled to take off at 8am from Islamabad and that it was delayed due to a technical fault.

He said the plane was declared fit for flight and that the pilot noticed a problem with the hydraulic system after take-off.

“The PIA chairman has ordered an inquiry into the incident,” the spokesperson told Dawn.

“Our priority now is to remove the plane so that flights can resume,” he added.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2016

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