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Myanmar's biggest airport closes after plane skids off runway, flights diverted

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By Reuters

YANGON (Reuters) – Myanmar’s largest airport was forced to close temporarily after a military plane skidded off the runway, forcing inbound international flights to be diverted, an official at the civil aviation department said on Thursday.

A Chinese-made Y-8-200F transport plane slid off the runway at Yangon international airport in the morning after one of its engines failed, according to a government statement.

There were no injuries reported, but outbound flights were delayed and inbound flights suspended.

“We are in a situation that the airport has temporarily shut down,” Ye Htut Aung, Deputy Director-General of Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation, told Reuters by telephone.

International flights would not resume until the aircraft could be removed, he said.

“My husband is now stuck at the airport in Dhaka, and can’t come home as he planned,” said Yu Lwin Soe, who was waiting at the airport with her toddler son.

“We don’t know what’s happening or how long it will take,” she said.

In May, a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane skidded on the runway of the Yangon international airport in heavy rain, leading to more than a dozen people being sent to hospital.

Later that month, a Myanmar National Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing after its nose gear failed.

In June 2017, a Y-8 military plane crashed into the Andaman Sea off Myanmar’s southern coast, killing all 122 people on board.

(Reporting by Thu Thu Aung; Editing by Hugh Lawson)