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Thu, Oct 27, 2005

A Bad Day To Fly Thai

Two Flights In Trouble -- One Forces Closure Of Melbourne Airport

Wednesday was not the best day ever at Thai Airways International. Two separate mishaps left two aircraft out of service and more than 500 passengers scrambling for alternative means of transportation.

In Bangkok, an Airbus A300-600 skidded off the runway in heavy rain. No one was reported injured.

The second incident was more serious. Australian aviation officials said a flight from Bangkok to Melbourne blew a tire on landing. The Airbus A340-600, with 263 passengers on board, suffered damaged hydraulic lines as well.

"As a result, hydraulic fluid has leaked onto hot brakes, and there's been two fires. They were extinguished quickly," a spokesman for Airservices Australia told the Bangkok Post. The plane ended up at the intersection of two runways, forcing officials to shut down the airport until the plane could be towed to a hangar for repairs.

"It hit very hard and there was a huge thump," passenger Graham O'Donohue, 45, told the Post. "We were going from side to side and skidding. It was a bit like being on a rollercoaster. I really thought we were history."

Again, no one was hurt. Both Australian aviation and airline officials are investigating.

FMI: www.thaiairways.com.au

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