13 injured as jet skids off runway - airline blacks out logo
A THAI Airways Airbus A330-300 plane has skidded off the runway at Bangkok's main airport, injuring 13 passengers.
The airline said the accident was due to a "glitch" in its wheel base while landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport late last night.
Photographs of flight TG679 from Guangzhou, China, showed the plane resting on the runway with nose down and its logo blacked out.
The decision to black out the name of the airline was in accordance with Star Alliance network guidance on emergency management, but the move drew criticism and ridicule on social media.
Thai Airways official Smud Poom-On said that "blurring the logo" after an accident was a recommendation from Star Alliance known as the "crisis communication rule," meant to protect the image of both the airline and other members of Star Alliance.
Thai Airways President Sorajak Kasemsuvan said in a statement about the accident: "After touchdown at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the landing gear malfunctioned and caused the aircraft to skid off the runway."
"Sparks were noticed from the vicinity of the right landing gear near the engine; the matter is under investigation."
Airbus spokesman Justin Dubon said it was too early to comment on what caused the accident. He said Airbus has dispatched a team of experts to Bangkok to aid in the investigation.
Photos taken after the incident showed deep furrows from skid marks in a grassy area off the runway, and the aircraft resting with its nose down and emergency slides inflated.
"The captain took control of the aircraft until it came to a complete stop and passengers were evacuated from the aircraft emergency exits," the Thai Airways president said.