Boeing plane skids off runway, injuring 11 at Senegal airport

A Boeing passenger plane came off the runway during takeoff in Senegal early Thursday, injuring 11 people and shutting the international airport near the capital Dakar for almost 12 hours, management said.

The B737/300 aircraft, an Air Senegal flight chartered by privately-owned Transair, was carrying 78 passengers and headed for the Malian capital Bamako, airport managers LAS said in a statement after the early hours drama left four passengers seriously hurt.

The jet "came off the runway during its takeoff phase" around one am (0100 GMT), said LAS, made up of Turkish group Limak, the publicly-owned airport operator AIBD and another Turkish entity, Summa.

Eleven people were injured, four of them seriously. Six other passengers were taken for medical check-ups inside the airport, LAS said.

The group said the airport at Diass, 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Dakar, had reopened shortly after midday.

"We inform you that Blaise Diagne international airport has reopened. Airport operations have resumed as normal," LAS stated.

The aircraft was "immobilised" away from the runway and an emergency plan triggered by airport authorities as soon as they were alerted, the group said.

"All the airport emergency services have been mobilised for the evacuation of passengers and their care, as per the plan," LAS went on.

Online images showed a large hole in the left engine and the wing covered in firefighting foam.

"The exact circumstances of the incident remain to be determined, but an investigation is already under way to establish the reasons" why the aircraft left the runway.


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