When a Thai International Airways jet skidded off a Bankgok runway last night, the first priority was evacuating the 288 passengers. The next priority, it seems, was a bizarre cover-up of sorts.
The Airbus A330-300’s was landing last night after a flight from Guangzhou, China, when a "glitch" in its wheel base sent it skidding off the runway.
The incident, about 11.20pm local time at Suvarnabhumi Airport, injured 14 people, who were taken to hospital.
Today, the plane was seen resting on grass next to the runway with its evacuation slides still deployed and the Thai Airways name and logo hastily covered up.
The move to black-out the logo may have been a response to last night's incident coming less than two weeks after 20 passengers were injured when a Thai Airways flight hit severe turbulence as it was descending to Hong Kong's airport.
Although the logo was unable to be seen, the plane's airline colours were unmistakable and easily compared to Thai Airways jets taking off or landing in the vicinity, which happens quite a bit in Bangkok.
Photos of the incident showed the plane resting in grass beside the runway with its nose down and emergency slides inflated.
"After touchdown at Suvarnabhumi Airport, the landing gear malfunctioned and caused the aircraft to skid off the runway. Sparks were noticed from the vicinity of the right landing gear near the engine; the matter is under investigation," Thai Airways President Sorajak Kasemsuvan said in a statement.
"The captain took control of the aircraft until it came to a complete stop and passengers were evacuated from the aircraft emergency exits," he said.
Initial reports suggested the plane’s nosewheel had collapsed.
Officials said the runway at Suvarnabhumi Airport would be temporarily closed.