Taiwanese jet explodes into flames at Okinawa

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August 20, 2007 11:09

 
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A China Airlines jet exploded into flames at an airport in Okinawa after arriving from Taiwan on Monday, but all 165 people aboard escaped, officials said. Police said terrorism was not suspected. All 157 passengers - including two small children - fled the Boeing 737-800 unhurt on inflated emergency slides just minutes before the plane burst into a fireball, Transport Ministry official Akihiko Tamura told reporters. China Airlines spokesman Sun Hung-wen told reporters in Taipei the aircraft skidded on the tarmac on its way from the runway to the gate after landing, starting a fire that prompted the emergency evacuation. The eight-member crew also safely left the plane, Sun said. "The fire started when the left engine exploded a minute after the aircraft entered the parking spot," Tamura said, adding that airport traffic controllers had received no report from the pilot indicating anything was wrong.

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