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Indian airliner catches fire while landing in Nepal; no casualties

March 10, 2014, Katmandu, Nepal - An Indian jetliner caught fire while landing in Nepal's capital on Saturday, but there were no casualties reported among the 170 people on board, officials said.


March 10, 2014
By The Associated Press

The right wheels of the Airbus 320 caught fire while landing in
Kathmandu after a flight from the Indian capital of New Delhi, said
Rishikesh Sharma, head of Tribhuwan International Airport.

 

As the plane was landing, passengers complained of a
"rubber burning-like smell," said Nepalese businessman Satish Shrestha,
who was aboard the flight, which was operated by budget airline Indigo.

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Passengers were quickly evacuated through emergency doors, while emergency workers quickly put out the flames.

 

Officials refused to give further details while they were investigating the incident.

 

India is one of the fastest-growing aviation
markets in the world, averaging about 11 per cent growth a year,
according to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency. However, its air
safety rating was downgraded in January by the U.S.

 

Federal Aviation
Administration over concerns about safety, pilot training and other
issues.

 

The move — dropping India to the
lower of two safety categories — effectively blocked Indian airlines
from increasing flights to the U.S. or entering new code-sharing
arrangements with American carriers.

 

India's Civil Aviation Ministry said that it had
started training programs, and that it should be in line with the FAA's
Category 1 standards this month. The FAA also wanted to see better
safety documentation and full-time flight inspectors.