Horror as passenger jet carrying 122 bursts into flames on runway in take-off

A plane carrying 122 passengers has dramatically burst into flames on the runway in a botched take-off.

A total of 36 passengers were taken to hospital with minor injuries following the aviation accident in the city of Chongqing, China, this morning (Thursday, May 12).

The incident unfolded when the Airbus A319 aeroplane began veering off to the left while moving along the runway.

The craft then crossed onto two neighbouring connecting taxiways and dropped its engines and landing gear before grinding to a halt. An ensuing fire broke out on the left side of the plane, leaving it potentially damaged beyond repair.

Chinese aviation administration CAAC told CNN International: "According to the flight crew, the plane experienced an anomaly during take-off. They stopped take-off according to procedure.

"After the plane skidded off the runway, the engine scraped the ground and caught fire. By the time (the fire) was out."

The CAAC and Chongqing airport confirmed that an investigation was now being carried out into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

A spokesperson from the airport said: "The cause of the crash is being investigated and flight operations at the airport have returned to normal."

It is the second plane crash to hit China this year after several years of improving flight safety in the Asian nation.

On March 21, a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed in mountains in southern China during a domestic flight from Kunming to Guangzhou.

The plane was flying at 29,000 feet and was nearing its destination when it suddenly began to lose altitude, and smashed into the ground within just two minutes.

No survivors were found among the 123 passengers and nine crew members on board.

Speaking to Express.co.uk after the incident, aviation expert Sally Gethin suggested that the route taken by the plane took indicated that one or more of the pilots may have tried to save the plane in the last few seconds after potentially losing consciousness.

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