Asia-Pacific

Indonesian plane crashes into cow and skids off runway

The Indonesian Lion Air passenger jet on a runway at Gorontalo airport on northern Sulawesi island (7 Aug 2013)
Image caption No injuries were reported after the plane skidded off the runway

An Indonesian passenger plane has skidded off a runway into a field after crashing into a cow.

The Lion Air plane, with at least 110 passengers on board, hit the cow as it came into land at Jalaluddin airport on the island of Sulawesi.

No-one has been reported injured, but the cow was crushed to death under a plane wheel.

The pilot, Iwan Permadi, told the national news agency Antara that he could smell "burning meat".

He said he initially thought there were dogs in front of the plane, "but it turned out there were three cows wandering in the middle of the runway".

Transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan told AFP news agency that all the passengers had safely disembarked.

The airport was closed after the incident, affecting people's travel plans for the Eid holiday. It has now reopened.

Indonesia relies heavily on air travel to connect its more than 17,000 islands, but the country has one of Asia's worst air safety records.

Lion Air is one of Indonesia's biggest private carriers, and has been expanding rapidly in recent years.

In April this year, at least 22 people needed hospital treatment when a Lion Air plane on a domestic flight missed the runway at Bali's Denpasar airport and came down in the sea.

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