Boeing plane skids off runway and bursts into flames in Senegal, injuring 11 passengers as people scramble to break free

9 May 2024, 12:22

The Boeing plane failed to take off in Senegal
The Boeing plane failed to take off in Senegal. Picture: Social media

By Kit Heren

A Boeing plane has skidded off the runway and burst into flames at a Senegalese airport, injuring 11 people.

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The shocking incident occurred when the Boeing 737 jet, which was carrying 79 passengers and six crew, suffered a failed takeoff attempt at the Blaise Diagne airport near the west African country's capital of Dakar late on Wednesday night.

The plane careered off the runway and onto the neighbouring grass, with flames shown coming from the left engine of the 737.

The jet, operated by the Transair airline, was later seen covered in foam designed to quench the fire, and with a hole in the engine.

Four of the 11 injured were seriously hurt, according to emergency services. No deaths have been reported. Footage from the scene showed people running away from the plane as the flames raged.

Read more: Terrifying moment Boeing 767 smashes into runway as plane makes emergency landing in Turkey

Read more: Boeing chief executive and chairman to step down as firm faces safety crisis

Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the incident.

The airport was closed to flights after the failed takeoff, and was expected to reopen within a few hours, airport bosses said in a statement.

The plane was heading to Bamako, the capital of the neighbouring country of Mali.

Boeing is already mired in controversy over safety concerns and the deaths of two whistleblowers just two months apart.

The Senegal incident comes a day after a Boeing 767 cargo plane crashed on landing in Turkey after its landing gear failed.

The FedEx plane took off from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on Wednesday morning for a flight to Istanbul.

Video footage captured the moment the nose of the plane smashes into the runway and scrapes along the tarmac.

Meanwhile two Boeing whistleblowers died just months apart from each other earlier this year.

Former quality auditor at Spirit AeroSystems, Joshua Dean, 45, died last week from a mystery infection. Months ago, fellow whistleblower John Barnett, 62, died by suicide in the midst of legal action against Boeing where he was due to give evidence.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has opened an investigation into Boeing after the beleaguered company reported that workers at a South Carolina plant falsified inspection records on certain 787 planes.

Boeing said its engineers have determined that misconduct did not create "an immediate safety of flight issue".

In an email to Boeing's South Carolina employees on April 29, Scott Stocker, who leads the 787 programme, said a worker observed an "irregularity" in a required test of the wing-to-body join and reported it to his manager.

"After receiving the report, we quickly reviewed the matter and learned that several people had been violating Company policies by not performing a required test, but recording the work as having been completed," Mr Stocker wrote.

Boeing notified the FAA and is taking "swift and serious corrective action with multiple teammates", Mr Stocker said.

No planes have been taken out of service, but having to perform the test out of order on planes will slow the delivery of jets still being built at the final assembly plant in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Boeing must also create a plan to address planes that are already flying, the FAA said.