July 30, 2008

Engine of Vietnam Airlines Plane Catches Fire at Japanese Airport

Text of report in English by Japan's largest news agency Kyodo

Chiba, Japan, July 30 Kyodo - An engine of a Boeing 777-200 operated by Vietnam Airlines caught fire minutes after it arrived at Narita International Airport near Tokyo early Wednesday morning from Ho Chi Minh City, but none of the 277 passengers and crewmembers onboard were hurt, airport officials said.

The aircraft's starboard engine was seen spewing smoke while taxing at around 7:45 a.m. after it touched down at one of the airport's two runways, prompting fire engines to be mobilized, according to the officials.

The plane reached the designated bay and the passengers got off by around 7:55 a.m. but the engine caught fire at around 8:30 a.m. and firefighters were engaged for several minutes trying to extinguish it.

The airport authority closed the runway for 14 minutes but found no abnormalities, and the temporary closure did not have any impact on other flights, the officials said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated, they said.

The transport ministry's Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission has decided to send investigators after judging it to be a serious incident, ministry officials said.

Originally published by Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 0345 30 Jul 08.

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