2 November 2016
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Sultan Ismail Petra airport here when an AirAsia aircraft skidded off the runway prior to takeoff at 10pm last night.
The aircraft, which was bound for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) encountered problems when its front and left rear wheel sank into the earth on the shoulder of the runway, Harian Metro reported.
It is understood that three flights to Kota Baru were forced to turn back, including one flight which returned to Penang, following the incident.
At least two flights from the Sultan Ismail Petra airport had to be postponed to this morning.
One of the passengers, who only wished to be known as Fatimah, 30, said she didn't know what the situation was until the cabin crew informed them that the aircraft had encountered "technical difficulties."
"The flight attendants had asked us to remain calm. We waited for more than an hour in the aircraft; passengers later demanded to know what was going on.
"We were then told that the aircraft had skidded. Not long after, we were allowed to leave the aircraft in stages via the front exit.
"A bus was on hand to bring us to the terminal, and airline staff proceeded to arrange the changes in flight schedules," said the passenger, who was travelling with two children.
Fatimah, who is also a teacher in Gombak, said she had to request for emergency leave following the incident as she could not return to KL in time.
Meanwhile, as of 1.30am last night, the situation at the Sultan Ismail Petra airport was still busy, with many passengers still waiting for transport home.
It is understood that the airline had prepared hotel accommodation and travel arrangements for passengers who required it.
(UPDATE): In a statement issued this morning, AirAsia confirmed that flight AK6443, scheduled to depart from Kota Baru to KL last night, was involved in an incident while taxiing on the runway at Sultan Ismail Petra airport.
The airline said all guests and crew on board the flight are safe and no injuries have been reported. It added that all guests were attended to and necessary assistance were provided.
"All AirAsia flights are operating normally from Sultan Ismail Petra airport today.
"Flight AK6446 from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Baru which was scheduled to depart on Tuesday night has departed for Kota Baru at 0900hrs this morning," said the company.
Original Source: nst