Probe opens as departing Carpatair Saab comes off runway

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Romania's transport ministry has opened an inquiry after a Carpatair turboprop left the runway during its take-off roll at Craiova airport.

The Saab 2000 had been transporting 50 passengers, said the ministry, which said its centre for safety analysis would have preliminary findings in a week's time.

Carpatair stated that the accident occurred around 10:00 yesterday as the aircraft attempted departure for Timisoara.

During the take-off roll, in snowy conditions, the turboprop "caught a bank of snow with the right wheel", said the carrier.

This resulted in a "drift to the right" and the aircraft's stopping in the snow beside the airport's single runway, designated 09/27.

None of the passengers on board or the crew suffered any injury," the airline said. "The aircraft is being evaluated for possible damage."

Craiova airport closed its runway as emergency personnel dealt with the situation.

Weather data for the time of the accident shows low visibility, as well as snow and freezing fog conditions.