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Thai Airways Airbus 330 skids off Bangkok runway, 14 injured

BANGKOK (Reuters) - An Airbus 330-300 operated by Thai Airways skidded off the runway at Bangkok's main international airport after the nose wheel collapsed on landing late Sunday night, injuring 14 passengers, the airline said.

The flight from Guangzhou, China, was carrying 288 passengers and 14 crew members. Passengers were evacuated using emergency slides and the 14 injured were sent to a Bangkok hospital, Thai Airways said.

"Thai Airways International Flight TG 679 from Guangzhou was scheduled to arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 23:00 hours local time. The nose gear failed as the plane touched the runway causing the plane to skid," the airline said in an emailed statement.

"Sparks were noticed from the vicinity of the right landing gear near the engine; the matter is under investigation" by Thai civil aviation officials, it said.

Bangkok's futuristic Suvarnabhumi airport opened seven years ago and has since become one of the busiest airports in Asia. Built to handle 45 million passengers a year, Suvarnabhumi Airport is already seeing 53 million passengers annually.

The airport is expanding a new passenger terminal and adding more parking bays and a new runway to enable it to handing 60 million fliers by 2017, according to the Airports of Thailand Public Company Ltd.

(Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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