Myanmar military aircraft overshoots runway in Mizoram, 8 crew injured, flight operations suspended

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Aizawl, Jan 23 (IANS) At least eight crew members of a Myanmar Air Force aircraft were injured after the plane skidded off the tabletop runway of the Lengpui airport in here on Tuesday, officials said.

The aircraft had come to Lengpui airport to take back the remaining 92 Myanmar soldiers to their country.

Officials said that out of the 14 people who were on board the medium size aircraft along with the pilot, eight were injured.

The injured were immediately rushed to Lengpui hospital and subsequently they were discharged.

Due to the faulty landing and the overshoot from the runway, the plane was partially damaged.

Mizoram disaster management officials, along with the district administration and police officials, rushed to the Lengpui airport, 30 km from Aizawl, and rescued the injured crew.

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ordered a probe into the accident in the Mizoram government-run airport.

After the accident, all Lengpui airport-bound flights were either cancelled or diverted.

Normal flight operations would resume on Wednesday, officials said. According to officials, as many as 184 of the 276 Myanmarese soldiers, who fled to Mizoram on January 17 after their camps were captured by armed pro-democracy ethnic groups, were flown back home on a Myanmar military aircraft on Monday.

“A Myanmar Air Force transport plane from Mandalay (Myanmar) landed at Lengpui airport on Monday and evacuated 184 Myanmar soldiers to Sittwe (Akyab) in two sorties. Before the departure of the Myanmarese soldiers, the Indian authorities have completed all necessary formalities,” a senior official told IANS.

The remaining 92 Myanmar soldiers were supposed to be airlifted on Tuesday.

The 276 Myanmar Army personnel took refuge in Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district on January 17 after their camps were captured by the Arakan Army militants. The Myanmar soldiers, with their arms and ammunition, reached Bandukbanga village, situated on the Mizoram-Myanmar-Bangladesh border trijunction, in Lawngtlai and were taken to Assam Rifles’ Parva camp in the district.

Necessary medical support was also given to the soldiers, the official said.

With the latest influx, the number of soldiers who fled Myanmar since November 13 last year and reached India’s Mizoram, has touched 636.



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