Gulf Air blames weather for Kochi A320 incident

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Gulf Air said rainy conditions likely to have caused an Airbus A320 aircraft to skid off the runway when landing at India's Kochi International airport in the early hours of 29 August.

"Rainy weather conditions are suspected to be the cause of this incident, However the aircraft was approved for landing and the cause will not be able to be confirmed until a full investigation has been completed," said Gulf Air.

"Gulf Air has deployed a team, comprising officials from care and support, engineering and safety, legal and insurance as well as two representatives from Bahrain CAA [Civil Aviation Affairs] to coordinate with authorities for further investigation and recovery of the aircraft," it added.

In the incident, flight GF270 on the Bahrain-Kochi route skidded off runway 27 while attempting to land in darkness and heavy rain. The nose gear of the aircraft, registration A9C-AG, collapsed.

The aircraft was carrying 137 passengers and six crew, all of whom were evacuated via the aircraft's emergency slides. One passenger suffered injuries during the evacuation and is now at a nearby hospital, said Gulf Air. "His condition is not critical," it said.

Two passengers suffered light injuries and received treatment at the terminal building.

Operations on runway 27 resumed fully at 07:30 local time on 30 August following the removal of debris from the incident, said an airport official.

"The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is now investigating the accident," he added. "The preliminary probe could be completed in a week and the final report available in six weeks."