40 injured in mid air incident

October 7, 2008 12:00 am

, PERTH, October 7 – Up to 40 people were injured in a mid-air incident that forced an Australian airliner to make an emergency landing on Tuesday, a police officer said.

The Airbus A320 made a successful emergency landing at an airfield in the Western Australian town of Exmouth after issuing a mayday emergency call, Sergeant Greg Lambert of the West Australian Police said.

"It is understood up to 40 people were injured during a mid-air incident," Lambert told the Australian Associated Press. "The nature of the mid-air incident is unknown."

Emergency services and medical staff were on standby at the airport, which lies about 1,100 kilometres (680 miles) northeast of the state capital of Perth, he said.

It was not immediately clear which airline operates the jet involved in the incident.

National carrier Qantas, which has suffered a spate of incidents in recent months, told AFP it had no information about the incident but was working to find out more.

Qantas also owns the discount airline Jetstar, which operates around 29 Airbus A320s on domestic routes.

In July, an exploding oxygen bottle punched a huge hole in the side of a Qantas Boeing 747-400, forcing an emergency landing in the . No passengers were injured in the mid-air drama.

Air safety investigators announced a safety review of Qantas, which has long been known as the world’s safest airline, after two other incidents occurred involving its aircraft within two weeks.


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