- The Washington Times - Monday, September 9, 2013

Fourteen passengers were injured when a Thai Airways plane with a wheel base problem skidded off a runway at the main airport in Bangkok, an airline spokesperson said Monday.

The Airbus A330-300 was carrying 288 passengers and crew from Guangzhou, China, NBC reported.

During the landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Sunday, the plane’s wheel base had a “glitch,” and the landing gear experienced a malfunction, an airline spokesperson said. The plane skidded off the runway into a grassy spot and came to rest with its nose down. The impact was hard enough to activate the plane’s inflatable emergency slides, NBC reported.

Eyewitnesses reported sparks flying from the plane’s right side, near the engine.

Thai Airways President Sorajak Kasemsuvan said that “the matter is under investigation,” NBC reported.

He also said, “The captain took control of the aircraft until it came to a complete stop, and passengers were evacuated from the aircraft emergency exits.”

The passengers who were injured were sent to area hospitals for treatment. The airline reported that their injuries occurred mostly during evacuation from the aircraft.

In an effort to protect the company’s image, workers blacked out the Thai Airways logo on the tail and body of the plane, The Huffington Post reported.

Thai Airways official Samud Poom-On said that covering up the logo was a normal practice for the airline after an accident. The official initially said the practice was mandated by Star Alliance, but the global airline group said it had no such policy, The Huffington Post said.

Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon said it was too early to comment on what caused the accident, The Huffington Post reported.

It was the second mishap in less than two weeks for Thailand’s national carrier, according to The Huffington Post.

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