Some 52 passengers suffered minor injuries and another was left with fractures after a Saudia airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in the coastal city of Jeddah.
Saudi’s Aviation Investigation Bureau (AIB) said a technical malfunction in the plane’s “hydraulic” system forced the pilot to make an emergency landing.
The Airbus A330-200, the AIB explained, had been leased by the airline.
Flight 3818 had taken off as scheduled from the Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz Airport in Madinah heading to the Dhaka airport in Bangladesh, with 141 passengers onboard. The plane was forced to reroute when it experienced technical problems.
Videos circulated on social media showed the moment the plane touched down in Jeddah.
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“The pilot made several attempts but failed to correct the malfunction with the front landing gear. Subsequently, the Airbus 330 made an emergency landing with the nose gear retracted,” Abdurahman Al Tayyib, a spokesman for Saudia airline quoted as saying by Al Madinah daily.
Firefighting and rescue teams were on alert at the airport to begin evacuating the passengers as soon as the plane landed.
An investigation has been launched to pinpoint the exact cause of the incident, the AIB added.