The engine and tyres of Russia's Azur Air flight, which was headed from Phuket to Moscow, burst into flames at the time of takeoff on February 4 at Phuket International Airport. The takeoff was aborted as soon as the fire was noticed and authorities at Phuket airport informed. The Boeing 767-300ER plane was carrying over 300 passengers and 12 crew members when the incident took place, according to UK's Metro. Nobody was injured in the mishap.
Everyone on board was advised to wait for a new flight once the plane was evacuated.
As per the outlet, a "loud blast" was reportedly heard during the take-off. As the aircraft aborted the departure, the landing gear also caught fire and burst into flames on the same right side of the aircraft.
Videos emerging on social media show the plane's wing on the right side smoking while it drives across the airport's tarmac.
#SANCTIONS: Engine blew up on a Russian Azur Air Boeing 767-300ER as it was taking off from Phuket, #Thailand to Moscow, #Russia.— Igor Sushko (@igorsushko) February 5, 2023
All flights cancelled at the Thai airport from Saturday 4:30pm to Sunday morning. Time for all countries to stop allowing Russian airlines planes. pic.twitter.com/PNMKnvWNIj
According to the outlet, the Russian airlines said in a statement, "Airline technical specialists have already started work to eliminate the malfunctions." They added that the passengers will be flown on February 5 and in the meantime the airline would provide them accommodation. "Passengers of flight ZF-3604 will be provided with a hotel, hot meals and soft drinks while waiting for departure to Moscow," they added.
Metro said that the aircraft has been with Azur Air since 2015 and is 26 years old.
As per local news outlets, the incident took place at 4:30 pm local time and the runway was closed for 40 minutes. This caused around 47 flight delays and several flights were diverted to Krabi airport, Samui airport and Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok.
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It was stated that "the Russian pilot quickly activated the fire suppression system, cutting the fuel supply to the engine." However, the sudden braking heated up the brakes and sent smoke rising from the wheels, which led to several tyres blowing out. They added that the firefighters arrived on the scene immediately.
The incident is of the engine explosion on the Russian aircraft is currently under investigation.