An airliner was evacuated and a runway closed at Sharjah International Airport yesterday after the plane suffered a burst tyre before taking off. Aviation officials said ambulances and rescue teams rushed to the scene, but that nobody was hurt. The 172 passengers and six crew members on board the Air India Express flight to Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala state, were immediately evacuated from the plane after the incident, which occurred about noon. The state news agency, WAM, said: "The captain avoided taking off and managed to halt the plane at the runway."
There were five children among the plane's passengers, according to WAM. "Thank God no one is injured and there is no fatality," said Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, the director general of Sharjah Civil Aviation Authority. Sheikh Khalid said an investigation was under way into what caused the tyre to burst. The passengers were cared for in the airport as they waited for a later flight, he added. Mohini Singh, an Air India Express manager, said the plane was in good condition at the time of the take-off, and that it was still unclear what had caused the tyre to burst.
She said engineers were heading to Sharjah from Mumbai to help identify the cause. According to Ms Singh, the passengers had been offered another flight at about 9pm last night. firstname.lastname@example.org