Indonesian plane skids off Batam runway


JAKARTA, March 10 (Reuters) – An Indonesian passenger plane carrying 174 people skidded off the runway in heavy rain while landing at Batam airport, an airline spokesman said on Monday.

The Boeing 737-400 operated by local budget carrier Adam Air overshot the runway at Hang Nadim airport on Batam, an Indonesian island close to Singapore, and its right wing was damaged, said airline spokesman Danke Drajat.

“It rained heavily at the airport but whether it was due to the weather it is not for us to say,” Drajat said, adding that the national transport safety committee was investigating.

None of the 169 passengers and five crew members on board the plane coming from the capital Jakarta were injured but several people were being treated for shock, he said.

Indonesia’s airline industry has grown rapidly in the past decade following liberalisation, with the launch of new players and a wider choice of routes across the sprawling archipelago.

However, the world’s fourth-most populous country has suffered a string of airline disasters in recent years, raising concerns about safety standards and prompting the European Union to ban all Indonesian airlines from its airspace.

In January 2007, an Adam Air plane crashed into the sea off Sulawesi island, with all 102 on board missing and presumed dead.

Adam Air planes have also experienced a number of non-fatal incidents in recent years.