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Indonesian planes clip wings at airport in latest scare

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Two Indonesian passenger planes clipped wings as they were about to take off from Jakarta's main airport, an airline said Tuesday, the latest accident in the country's beleaguered aviation sector.

[JAKARTA] Two Indonesian passenger planes clipped wings as they were about to take off from Jakarta's main airport, an airline said Tuesday, the latest accident in the country's beleaguered aviation sector.

The planes operated by domestic carrier Lion Air were Sunday heading towards a runway at Soekarno-Hatta airport, just outside the capital, when their wings collided.

There was only minor damage to the planes and no one was injured, said Edward Sirait, general affairs director at Lion Air.

After the collision between the Boeing and Airbus aircraft, all the passengers were transferred to other planes to continue their journeys, to Bali and Sulawesi islands, he said.

Asked about a reason for the accident, Mr Sirait said: "We are waiting for results of the authorities' investigation." It came a month after two planes collided at a smaller airport in the capital.

A plane operated by Batik Air - part of the Lion Group along with Lion Air - was taking off from Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma airport when it clipped a TransNusa plane being towed across the runway.

Part of one of the aircraft's wings was damaged and a fire broke out, but all on board were evacuated safely and there were no injuries.

Indonesia's air travel industry is booming, with the number of domestic passengers growing significantly over the past decade, but it has a dismal air safety record and reputation for chaotic regulation.

In 2013 a Lion Air jet with a rookie pilot at the controls undershot the runway and crashed into the sea in Bali, splitting the plane in two. Several people were injured in the crash, although no one was killed.

AFP