An Airbus A330-300 operating as Thai Airways flight 679 from Guangzhou veered off the runway into soft ground on the right after landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok earlier today, reportedly injuring 14 people during the evacuation of the aircraft.
The nose landing gear was suspected as the source of the problem, as it allegedly malfunctioned during the landing and caused the aircraft to skid off of the runway as a result. Sparks were reportedly seen on the right side of the aircraft as it was slowing down. Both engines were damaged from the incident, which occurred at approximately 11:20 in the evening local time.
There were 14 flight crew members and 288 passengers aboard the airplane, none of whom were killed as a result of this accident. The injured passengers were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Here is the official statement released from Thai Airways pertaining to the incident:
“Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) provided clarification on flight TG679 from Guangzhou to Bangkok on 8 September 2013, whereby the aircraft skidded off the runway upon landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
“Dr. Sorajak Kasemsuvan, THAI President, said that on 8 September 2013, flight TG679, operated with Airbus A330-300 aircraft, departed from Guangzhou to Bangkok at 21.25 hours (local time in Guangzhou) and arrived in Bangkok at 23.20 hours. As after touchdown at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the landing gear malfunction and the aircraft skidded off the runway. Fire spark were noticed from the vicinity right landing gear near the engine, the matter is under to be investigation. The captain took control of the aircraft until it came to a complete stop and passengers were evacuated passengers from the aircraft’s emergency exits. The cooperation was conducted by the Captain and the crew strictly.
“The aircraft carried 288 passengers and 14 cabin crew. Initially, 13 passengers received minor injuries while evacuating the aircraft. THAI staff provided assistance to passengers and transfer those injured to hospital. THAI will conduct an investigation as to the cause of the incident.
“THAI regrets any conveniences to passengers. For more information, passengers may contact the Company’s Crisis Management Operations Center (CMOC) at Tel. 02-545-3181, 24-hours a day.
The Thai Airways logos adorning the livery of the aircraft were blacked out soon after the incident — similar to when the logos were stripped from an ATR-72-500 propeller regional aircraft operated by Carpatair Avion de Transport on behalf of Alitalia shortly after it veered off of the runway upon landing this past February, resulting in the injuries of six people.
This incident occurred only nine days after 39 people were injured during severe turbulence aboard an Airbus A380-800 operating as Thai Airways flight 600 from Bangkok on its descent into Hong Kong.
Flight delays are expected on Monday at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok as the runway is being cleared.