A fatal incident was averted on Monday morning, when an Iranian airliner from capital Iran, en route to Mahshahr city, in Iran's south-western province of Khuzestan, skidded off the runway, with its wheels still retracted. Videos and pictures of the incident show the aircraft lying flat on its belly, in the middle of a street.
A tragedy narrowly avoided
Caspian Airlines Flight 6936 carrying 135 passengers departed from capital Tehran's Mehrabad International Airport, early Monday at around 6:44 am and was set to land at Bandar Mahshahr Airport, in the country's southern city of Mahshahr, CNN reported. While attempting to land, the plane skidded off the runway and landed on the Mahshahr-e-Ahwaz highway.
The videos and pictures of the incident which emerged show the plane in the middle of the street, with passengers exiting through the main doors with some of them coming out through the emergency exit, hopping onto the aeroplane's wings and walking away calmly. Passengers were helped by people present on the scene.
Injuries and damage
No passenger was hurt in the incident. "Fortunately, all passengers of the Tehran-Mahshahr flight are safe," Reza Jafarzadeh, Civil Aviation Organization's spokesman said. Further investigation into the cause of the incident is underway. Currently, it is believed that one of the landing gears might have exploded upon landing, according to local reports.
The aircraft looked undamaged and Managing Director of Khuzestan Airports Mohammad Reza Rezaei told IRNA that the plane did not catch fire during the incident and no one on board was hurt, RT reported. Though a tragedy has been narrowly avoided, but the footage of the scene shows that the plane landed not far from a populated area.
The Tehran-based Caspian Airlines was involved in a major accident in 2009, when a passenger plane crashed outside Iranian city Qazvin, killing all 153 passengers and 15 crew members, on board. Monday's incident comes at a time when Iran is still coping with an "unintentional" downing of a Ukrainian passenger aircraft, with two Iranian missiles, which killed all 176 passengers on board.