Arriving Thai Airways Flight Bursts Tire; NA Delegation On Board

A Thai Airways Airbus A-300 burst a tire as it landed at Phnom Penh International Airport Jan 25 lightly jostling a returning National Assembly delegation on board, of­ficials and a passenger said.

Officials said the 138 passengers and 13 crewmembers on board were never in any danger.

Khek Norinda, spokesman for the airport operator Societe Con­cessionnaire des Aeroports, said that 50 meters after touching down at 9:22 am, Flight TG 696 from Bangkok burst one of eight tires at the rear of the plane.

Deputy National Assembly Pre­sident Nguon Nhel said he had seen the tire burst while waiting on the airport tarmac to greet the arriving delegation.

National Assembly President Heng Samrin was on board with an eight-member delegation re­turning from a regional lawmakers conference that concluded Jan 24 in New Zealand, he said.

“I saw one tire out of four with a little smoke as it went down the runway,” he said. “I believe some of our delegation members ap­peared unaware the tire had burst as they were landing.”

Keo Sivorn, director of flight operations and air safety for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said the plane was to return to service once the burst tire was changed.

“It’s not a big problem. It was only one of eight tires that burst,” he said. “It won’t damage anyone’s reputation.”

SRP lawmaker Son Chhay, who was on board the plane, said he had felt something was not quite right.

“I was inside the plane. I felt something wrong when it landed. I smelled something after the aircraft ran forward,” he said.

Thai Airways could not be contacted Jan 25, but the general manager of another regional air carrier who declined to be named said a burst tire should not cause undue concern.

“In my experience in the industry, a tire bursting is a normal situation,” he said. “This is an incident, not an accident.”

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