The Jakarta Post, Dragos Bota, Associated Press, Timisoara | Sat, 02/28/2009 7:53 PM
A Romanian plane carrying 51 people made a safe emergency landing in western Romania on Saturday and all the occupants escaped, officials said.
Part of the Carpatair flight's landing gear became stuck and the aircraft circled Timisoara International Airport for almost two hours, using up its fuel to avoid a potential fire, officials said, before it landed nose-down on a bed of foam laid out by firefighters.
The Saab 2000 aircraft was carrying 47 passengers and four crew members on its flight from the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, to Timisoara, airport spokeswoman Carmen Stoica said.
The Emergency Inspectorate said at least 10 ambulances and three fire engines were waiting for the stricken plane.
"The plane ... crash-landed on the foam carpet spread by firefighters on the airstrip. All passengers are fine," said inspectorate spokeswoman Sindia Vlaia.
The airport's runway is about 2 miles (3.5 kilometers) long.
The Romanian Transportation Ministry has sent a team to Timisoara to investigate the incident.