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Nok Air plane slides off runway

A Nok Air Boeing 737-800 slid off the runway while landing at the Mae Fah Luang international airport in the northern province of Chiang Rai in heavy rain on Saturday night but nobody was hurt.

According to an announcement issued by the airline on Saturday, Nok Air Flight DD108 (Don Mueang – Chiang Rai) with 164 passengers and six crew members on board departed from Don Mueang airport at 8.03pm and arrived at Mae Fah Luang airport at 9.06pm.

While landing, the aircraft slid off the runway because of the heavy rain but the pilots managed to safely bring the aircraft to a halt. All of the passengers and crew members were safely moved to the passenger building. Nobody was injured.

An investigation was underway into the incident.

According to the announcement, the company took good care of the passengers by providing them with snacks and drinks while waiting for their luggage.

However, some of the passengers posted comments on Facebook, saying that they were not provided with any refreshments as announced by the airline.

Nok Air said on Sunday that all flights to Chiang Rai were cancelled.

The Mae Fah Luang airport also said the runway would be closed on Sunday between 6am and 10pm due to the incident.

As a result, Thai Smile, Thai Vietjet and Thai Air Asia will on Sunday transport their departing passengers by bus from Mae Fah Luang airport in Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai international airport, from where they can further travel by air to their destinations.

Passengers continued to air anger at the low-cost airline about its claims it had helped passengers on the plane and others with flight bookings.

Many complained about a busy signal at its call centre 1318, saying they tried calling for hours without anyone picking up.  They only heard an automated reply apologising for inconvenience as the line was busy.

They also criticised Nok Air for failing to take care of passengers with outgoing flights after other airlines arranged buses to take their customers to the airport in Chiang Mai. 

A Facebook user named Warangkhana Wongchai said after the incident, crew members kept most passengers in the aircraft for about an hour, allowing fewer than 20 to leave. They were eventually permitted to disembark only after mounting complaints from passengers saying they found it difficult to breathe in the cabin, she said.

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