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Thursday, September 23, 1999 Published at 23:05 GMT 00:05 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

London-bound jet skids off runway

Hundreds of passengers were evacuated from a Qantas Boeing 747 bound for London from Sydney after it skidded off a runway while landing in a rainstorm at Bangkok airport.

The airline confirmed that all 407 people on board were evacuated using emergency slides without injury following the landing.

[ image: Britannia Airways jet skidded off runway at Gerona just days ago]
Britannia Airways jet skidded off runway at Gerona just days ago
The incident comes just over a week after a Britannia Airways Boeing 757 was torn apart when it bounced and skidded as it landed in a storm at Gerona airport on the Spanish Costa Brava.

In that accident 40 people of 236 holidaymakers on board needed hospital treatment.

The Qantas plane was due to arrive at Heathrow at 0650 BST on Friday.

But it was damaged in the crash landing which happened at 10.46pm Bangkok time (1646 BST).

Cause unknown

A statement from the airline said: "All passengers were safely evacuated after a Qantas Boeing 747 400 was damaged on landing during a rainstorm at Bangkok airport in Thailand last night."

It continued: "Qantas chief executive James Strong said there were no reports of any serious injuries to the 407 passengers and crew of flight QF1 which was en route from Sydney to London.

"He said the incident occurred at 10.46pm Bangkok time. Passengers were evacuated using the aircraft emergency slides and have been taken to hotels in Bangkok.

Mr Strong said Qantas was working with the authorities to determine the cause of the incident.

Qantas has set up an international inquiry number on 00 612 8904 7977.

A Heathrow airport spokesman said any friends or relatives greeting passengers from the flight QF001, which had been due to arrive at Heathrow at 0650 BST on Friday, should call the inquiry line set up by the airline.

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