Boeing 737 catches fire and skids off the runway at a Senegal airport, injuring 10 people

A Boeing 737 plane carrying 85 people has caught fire and skidded off a runway at the airport in Dakar, Senegal’s capital, injuring 10 people

Jessica Donati
Thursday 09 May 2024 16:54 BST
Senegal Plane Crash
Senegal Plane Crash

A Boeing 737-300 plane carrying 85 people skidded off a runway at the airport in Senegal's capital, injuring 10 people, according to the transport minister, an airline safety group and footage from a passenger that showed the aircraft on fire.

“Our plane just caught fire,” wrote Malian musician Cheick Siriman Sissoko in a post on Facebook that showed passengers jumping down the emergency slides at night as flames engulfed one side of the aircraft at the airport in Dakar. In the background, people can be heard screaming.

Transport Minister El Malick Ndiaye said the Air Sénégal flight operated by TransAir was headed to Bamako, in neighboring Mali, late Wednesday with 79 passengers, two pilots and four cabin crew. The airport reopened on Thursday morning after closing overnight.

The injured were being treated at a hospital, while the others were taken to a hotel to rest. Boeing referred a request for comment to the airlines.

It was the third incident involving a Boeing airplane this week. Also on Thursday, 190 people were safely evacuated from a plane in Turkey after one of its tires burst during landing at a southern airport, Turkey’s transportation ministry said.

The company has been under intense pressure since a door plug blew out of a Boeing 737 Max during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, leaving a gaping hole in the plane. The Federal Aviation Administration in February gave Boeing 90 days to come up with a plan to fix quality problems and meet safety standards for building planes after the accident.

The incident has raised scrutiny of Boeing to the highest level since two crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people. About a dozen relatives of passengers who died in the second crash have been pushing the U.S. government to revive a criminal fraud charge against the company by determining that Boeing violated terms of a 2021 settlement.

In April, a Boeing whistleblower, Sam Salehpour, testified at a congressional hearing that the company had taken manufacturing shortcuts to turn out 787s as quickly as possible that could lead to jetliners breaking apart.

The Aviation Safety Network, which tracks airline accidents, described the plane as a Boeing 737-38J. The network published photos of the damaged plane in a grassy field, surrounded by fire suppressant foam, on X, formerly known as Twitter. One engine appeared to have broken apart and a wing was also damaged, according to the photos.

ASN is part of the Flight Safety Foundation, a nonprofit group that aims to promote safe air travel and tracks accidents.

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