Italian investigators have opened an inquiry after an Airbus A320 operated by the Hungarian division of budget carrier Wizz Air apparently suffered a landing-gear failure at Rome.

The aircraft (HA-LWM) had been operating flight 3141 from Bucharest to Rome Ciampino with 165 passengers and six crew, and was scheduled to land a 07:35.

But as it approached Ciampino from the north, at 07:23, the crew executed a go-around after problems emerged with the aircraft's undercarriage, says Italian civil aviation authority ENAC.

It turned to head north and entered a hold just east of lake Bracciano. At 07:52 its crew declared an emergency and requested to divert to the main Rome Fiumicino airport.

Wizz Air A320 gear up 

 Massimo Arno

Wizz Air says the landing-gear was "faulty" and that the aircraft carried out an emergency landing at 08:15. The aircraft appears to have come to rest with its left-hand engine and rear fuselage contacting the runway and its nose-gear off the ground.

Passengers were evacuated using the slides, says the carrier: "Crew and passengers have reported no injuries and are being assisted by the airline."

ENAC says the landing took place on runway 34R and that the aircraft is "resting on one side". NOTAM information from Fiumicino states that runway 16L/34R was closed "due to crash of aircraft".

"Wizz Air will work with the authorities on the investigation and sincerely apologises to all affected passengers for any inconvenience caused by the emergency landing," says the airline.

ENAC says it is co-operating with the Italian judiciary and police, as well as investigation authority ANSV, to collate technical data from the accident site which will enable the aircraft to be moved and the airport to resume full operations.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news