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Planes collide on Indonesian runway, no casualties

[JAKARTA] Two passenger planes collided at an airport in the Indonesian city of Medan on Thursday, an airline spokesman said, the latest incident to hit the country's beleaguered aviation sector.

A Boeing airplane operated by Lion Air was taxying along the runway after landing at Kualanamu airport on the island of Sumatra when it clipped the wing of a Wings Air craft waiting to depart for Meulaboh in Aceh province.

No one was injured in the incident and authorities are investigating the cause of the collision.

Pictures on social media showed damage to the left wing of the Lion Air plane and the right wing of the Wings Air craft, which are both part of the Lion Group.

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"All passengers are in good condition, no one was injured. Both planes are now at the apron..." Andy Saladin, a spokesman for Lion Air said.

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 May 2016, two planes from Lion Air collided in Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport, while in April 2016 a plane operated by Batik Air - part of the Lion Group - clipped a TransNusa plane.

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.

Last week the Indonesian air traffic controllers association revealed that state-run air navigation company AirNav often allows 84 take-offs and landings per hour in Jakarta, increasing the chance of accidents.

AFP

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