323 escape as smoke fills plane on Dhaka runway
(dpa) - People panicked trying to escape a burning plane as smoke filled the cabin at Dhaka's airport, a passenger said.
"People were screaming inside the plane as they pushed one another to get to the exits," Bangladeshi Shahab Uddin said.
All 307 passengers and 16 crew members were safely evacuated, however, through emergency doors with about 50 suffering minor injuries, such as cuts and bruises, civil aviation officials said Wednesday.
The fire broke out on the Saudi Arabian airliner minutes after it touched down Tuesday night at Dhaka's Zia International Airport.
Airport control tower sources said the pilots of the Saudi Arabian Airlines' Boeing 747 had sought permission for an emergency landing, but the claim could not be independently confirmed.
Firefighters rushed to the site of the mishap and extinguished the flames, which had broken out in one of the plane's four engines.
The aircraft was on a regular flight from Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Dhaka, ferrying mainly Bangladeshi expatriate workers home.
A six-member investigative body appointed by the government has begun investigations into the accident.