21 Apr 2014

Malaysia plane in landing gear scare

3:52 pm on 21 April 2014

A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane with 166 people on board has landed safely at Kuala Lumpur after being forced to abandon a flight because of problems with its landing gear.

The gear malfunctioned as flight MH192 was taking off from Kuala Lumpur, heading for Bangalore, early on Monday.

Malaysia's Defence Minister and Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein confirmed the safe landing in a tweet and said he was on his way to the airport.

Malaysia Airlines had said earlier that the Boeing 737-800 had suffered a malfunction of its right-hand landing gear upon takeoff, and would be forced to attempt an emergency landing. Fire rescue services had been placed on standby, according to the airline.

On 8 March, a Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in unexplained circumstances with 239 people on board, and the search for its presumed wreckage is still continuing in the Indian Ocean.

A high-level decision is expected this week on whether to call manned submarines into the search. An unmanned Bluefin 21 submarine has carried out eight underwater missions in the Indian Ocean, but has failed to find any sign of wreckage. Search authorities could now ask for traditional, heavier submarines that can go deeper.