independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Plane take-off aborted amid fire

Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg was temporarily closed during the incident (AP)

A chartered Boeing MD-82 plane has aborted take-off in South Africa after its landing gear caught fire when a tyre came off its mounting, officials said. No-one was injured.

The Global Aviation Operations flight was attempting to leave OR Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg when one of its pilots saw the landing gear on fire, said Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, a spokeswoman for the Airports Company South Africa.

The pilot halted the take-off and stopped the plane on one of the runways at South Africa's busiest airport, temporarily closing it. The flight's destination was the southern African nation of Malawi.

Rescuers and emergency workers quickly surrounded the plane which had 106 people on board, Ms Batyashe-Fillis said. The plane had been bound for Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, she added.

Global Aviation Operations, which flies charter flights throughout Africa, blamed the fire on a "tyre separation".

The McDonnell Douglas MD-82, a jet aircraft often used by airlines for middle-distance flights, is a model owned by Boeing. McDonnell Douglas had stopped production of all but one of the models in the series when Boeing bought its smaller rival in 1997, and it closed down that line two years later to focus on newer models of its own popular midrange jet, the 737.

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