A Thai Airways B747-400 had suffered a runway excursion at Bangkok Airport. The airport, where the airline is based is currently in the midst of a strong storm during the area’s monsoon season. It appears as though heavy rain was to blame, however, it is too early to draw definitive conclusions. The Thai 747 was flying from Guangzhou to Bangkok as TG679. Interestingly, a Thai aircraft also came off of the runway at Bangkok operating the same flight back in 2013.
40 Reportedly Injured
The Bangkok Post reports that there were no injuries sustained in the incident. The plane touched down and came to a rest after skidding 100 meters down the runway past where it intended to stop. The aircraft then came to a rest in the grass adjacent to the runway. All reports appear to indicate that the 97 passengers and 18 crew left the aircraft safely.
There are conflicting reports as to how the aircraft was evacuated. The Bangkok Post reports that the emergency exit slides were used during the incident. In contrast, the Aviation Herald reports that the aircraft was evacuated using mobile steps. It is usually more likely that the slides would be used following the panic caused in such a situation. However, the images show that the slides were no deployed in this instance. This goes to show how in the immediate aftermath of an incident, false facts can be reported in the uncertainty caused. All of this does, however, mean that the aircraft is likely still airworthy. It will be out of action for some time while it is checked over and the slides are replaced.
A representative of Thai Airways commented to the press:
There was heavy rain upon landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport, and the aircraft experienced a partial excursion from the runway, whereby the aircraft came to a complete stop. Thai is coordinating with functions concerned to investigate the cause of this incident
5 years and one month ago, a fairly similar incident occurred. A Thai Airways Airbus A330-321 skidded off of the runway on September 8th, 2013. The aircraft was operating Thai flight 679 and was also flying from Guangzhou to Bangkok. In the previous incident, the aircraft was completely written off. 14 passengers suffered serious injuries. The cause of the accident was ultimately put down to the aircraft having faulty landing gear.
It is likely that more information regarding the incident will become available over the next few days. The runway will most likely be out of action until the aircraft is removed. When a Chinese carrier crash landed at Manila airport in August, the airline was charged $300,000. It is unknown how much damage has been caused by the Thai Airways B747 has caused at this time. This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes known.