A Turkish Airlines plane with at least seven Israelis aboard made an emergency landing Wednesday in Katmandu, the capital of Nepal. The passengers were unhurt.
The Boeing Airbus A330 jet was forced to make the emergency landing apparently because of the difficult weather conditions at the time. The area was covered in heavy fog, which made navigation very difficult.
As the plane tried to land, it missed part of the runway, with its front wheel landing on an area outside the runway. The wheel was badly damaged, and was unable to support the plane, which landed on its body at high speed. As it landed, the plane's rescue system was activated, with emergency slides opening. All of the plane's 238 passengers were evacuated, with no injuries reported. Witnesses on the plane said that at the moment of impact, the overhead bins opened and dropped luggage down to the passenger area.
An initial investigation indicated that the plane's pilots had twice attempted to land, but were unable to because they couldn't see the runway. The incident occurred on the third try, when they thought they had the runway in sight. Only when the plane was almost on the ground – partially over a field next to the runway – did they realize their mistake, but by then it was too late.
In other parts of the world, pilots would not attempt to land under such circumstances, said experts, but because of Katmandu's isolation, there were no other airports in the area to land at.