Boeing 737: Plane skids off runway in Senegal, tyre bursts in Turkey

Accidents involving Air Senegal, Corendon Airlines come as aircraft manufacturer in crisis over its poor safety record.

Boeing 737 of Transair en route to Bamako skids off runway at Dakar International Airport in Senegal
A Boeing 737 of Transair, chartered by Air Senegal and en route to Bamako, Mali, skids off the runway at Blaise Diagne International Airport in Dakar, Senegal, on May 9, 2024 [Anadolu Agency]

Two Boeing 737 passenger planes have been involved in accidents in Senegal and Turkey on takeoff and landing, raising further questions about the aircraft manufacturer’s safety record.

In Senegal, a chartered Air Senegal Boeing B737-300 plane skidded off a runway before takeoff early on Thursday at Blaise Diagne International Airport in the capital, Dakar.

Eight-five people – including two pilots and four cabin crew – were on board the flight operated by TransAir and bound for the Malian capital Bamako. At least 10 people were injured, the transport ministry said.

Photos showed the damaged plane at a standstill in a grassy field with a damaged wing, its emergency exit slides deployed.

Videos shared on social media appeared to show a left wing on fire. The aircraft was later cordoned off with red and white tape, the Reuters news agency reported.

The facility was closed after the accident but had reopened by 11:00 GMT, the airport operator said.

In Turkey, 190 people – including six crew members – were safely evacuated from a Boeing 737-800 belonging to Corendon Airlines after one of the aircraft’s tyres burst on Thursday during landing at Gazipasa, an airport near the Mediterranean coastal town of Alanya.

Corendon Airlines denied Turkish media reports that the aircraft, which had arrived from Cologne, Germany, had landed on its nose. Turkey’s Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure reported damage to the plane’s nose landing gear.

Flights were diverted to nearby Antalya airport while the aircraft was removed, the ministry said.

It was the second incident at a Turkish airport in as many days. On Wednesday, a Boeing 767 cargo aircraft belonging to FedEx made an emergency landing at Istanbul Airport after its front landing gear failed. No one was injured and the crew safely evacuated the aircraft.

Manufacturers are not typically involved in the operation or maintenance of jets once they enter service, but Boeing has been under intense media and regulatory scrutiny following a series of incidents involving its 737s.

In January, a door panel blew out of a Boeing 737 Max during an Alaska Airlines flight. The midair blowout followed two 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people.

Further denting the company’s image, air safety officials in the United States are currently investigating whether employees at Boeing falsified inspection records for the 787 Dreamliner.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies