THAI plane tyres 'had low pressure'

Thai Airways International (THAI) denied Saturday that a tyre on a flight from India had exploded, but said the Airbus 330 made an emergency landing at Suvarnabhumi airport because two tyres had low pressure.

Sorajak Kasemsuvan (Photo by Thiti Wannamontha)

"The plane tyre did not burst or explode on landing as reported but the left and right front tyres had low pressure,"  THAI president Sorajak Kasemsuvan said.

Early media reports of the emergency incident early on Saturday said one of the tyres had exploded during the landing,  but Mr Sorajak denied it.

After the twin-engine Airbus 330-300 aircraft left Kolkata (Calcutta) at 2.48am Thailand time with flight TG 314, crew members discovered one of the two front tyres was under-inflated. The crew members requested permission to make an emergency landing as they approached Suvarnabhumi airport at 6am, he said.

After the plane landed, ground crew and engineers discovered the other main tyre at the front of the aircraft was also under-inflated. The tyres were changed as the plane sat on the runway, as passengers and crew waited.

All 287 passengers and air crews were safe and they had to wait inside the aircraft for about one hour.

"THAI will investigate the cause of under-inflated tyres because the aircraft had to be inspected in accordance with international standards before leaving the (India) airport," Mr Sorajak said.

Sqn Ldr Pongpeera Paisankulwong, head of THAI aviation safety, security and standards at Thai Airways International, said the incident of having under-inflated tyres can happen and there are many factors involved, including overheated tyres or leakages caused by foreign objects such as stones lying on the runway.

Pilots have to park the plane before heading to the aerobridge or hangar because the stones might bounce off and damage other parts of the plane, he said.

"A panel has been set up to look into this incident," Sqn Ldr Pongpeera said.

A THAI plane has to make an emergeny landing due to under-inflated tyres. All on board are safe. (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)

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