Russian plane veers off runway in Cyprus

2012-07-11 14:59

Nicosia - A Russian passenger aircraft veered off the runway while landing in Cyprus when a tyre burst, an airport official said on Wednesday, adding that no one was hurt.

Aeroflot flight SU 2070 from Moscow had just touched down at Larnaka International Airport when a tyre burst resulting in the Ilyushin Il-96 aircraft careening into a nearby taxiway before coming to a standstill.

No injuries occurred in the incident although an ambulance and fire trucks immediately rushed to the scene.

"A small explosion occurred on the aircraft's central wheels as the plane landed on the runway this morning", said airport spokesperson Adamos Aspris.

"The plane then went off course from the landing runway but came to a halt on the nearby taxiing runway. The 287 passengers and crew members were not harmed and nobody needed medical attention.

Aspris went on to dismiss as "totally false" media reports that a small fire had also broken out on the four-engine airliner carrying mostly Russian tourists.

Russia ranks second on Cyprus' tourist market behind the United Kingdom.

In recent years the tourist inflow from Russia to Cyprus has increased by about 50%. In 2010, about 225 000 Russian tourists visited the Mediterranean island while last year, Cyprus was visited by 334 000 Russian tourists.