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August 10, 2012

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Wide-body passenger planes bump at Pudong International

A TAXIING Malaysia Airlines passenger plane bumped the tail of a China Eastern Airlines plane waiting on the taxiway at Pudong International Airport yesterday afternoon. No one was injured.

China Eastern flight MU583 from Shanghai to Los Angeles was waiting to take off about 4:30pm when a wing of the Malaysia Airlines plane bumped the left elevator on the tail of the Chinese plane, the China Eastern said later yesterday.

The top of the wing of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was broken off and hung on the tail of the China Eastern Airbus 340-600, according to pictures posted by passengers on the Internet. Both planes are wide-body passenger aircraft.

"It is like a sudden earthquake," said a passenger surnamed Chai on the China Eastern plane.

He said the plane was shook strongly when it was bumped and the shaking was more severe in the front of the plane.

The Shanghai-based airline dispatched another plane for the flight and moved the damaged plane for inspections and repair, China Eastern said. The China Eastern flight was due to take off at 3pm but had yet to take off as of 9pm yesterday.

The East China Regional Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China has sent a team to investigate, an official said. The operation of other flights at the airport was not affected.

Malaysia Airlines' flight MH389 was heading to Kuala Lumpur. The company could not be reached for comment.

A civil aviation expert said the bump is likely to have happened at the beginning of the taxiway, when the Malaysia Airlines plane was turning around. He said the damage to either plane wound not be severe.

"The pilot of either plane could have misunderstood the order from the air traffic controller and turned into the wrong taxiway," a local pilot told Shanghai Daily yesterday. He said the incident is rare.


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