Flight TG 679 came out of the north and east from southern China last Sunday night, as it did habitually each late evening, homing in on its Suvarnabhumi airport base. At 11.25pm, the Airbus A330-300, its 288 passengers and its 14 crew members kissed the runway.
A few seconds later, the plane shuddered, took a right turn off Runway 19R and drove at speed into the wet grass. Sparks or flames - there is a dispute - came from the starboard engine as it ploughed a furrow in the verge, bending and partly breaking up.
The plane came to a halt. The pilot issued emergency instructions. With the aircraft leaning to the right, evacuation chutes popped out of the left side of the aircraft, and crew and passengers began vacating the scene at speed. Some passengers were hurt in the slide, and in a reasonable time 14 were placed in ambulances and taken to hospital. Two were held overnight, but no one suffered life-threatening injuries.
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