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Plane skids off runway in Senegal, 10 injured

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A Boeing 737-300 aircraft has skidded off a runway in Senegal, injuring at least 10 people, four of them seriously.

The incident occurred as flight HC 301 was taking off for the Malian capital Bamako in the early hours of Thursday, Dakar’s Blaise Diagne airport said in a statement.

The pilot was slightly injured, but most of the 78 passengers on board were not hurt in the incident.

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Operations were halted at the airport for a few hours but have now resumed.

Emergency services at the airport were mobilised to evacuate passengers, the airport’s statement said.

An inquiry is under way to determine the causes of the incident, which took place at around 0100 GMT.

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Boeing has not commented on the incident, nor has Transair, the private company from which Air Senegal chartered the plane.

Though it is not yet known what caused the crash, it comes as the manufacturer faces a deepening crisis over its safety record.

An unused door blew out of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max in January shortly after take-off in the US.

The company is facing a criminal investigation into that incident.

The Senegal crash comes as a former quality inspector at Boeing’s largest supplier told the BBC that plane bodies regularly left the factory with serious defects.

The company, Spirit AeroSystems, said it “strongly disagreed” with the allegations.

BBC

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