Dakar Airport Runway Incident: Air Senegal 737 Veers Off Course

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 10, 2024 10:30 AMNews
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A field that has some plants in it. Source: unsplash

In the early hours of May 9, 2024, a Boeing 737-300 operated by TransAir for Air Senegal veered off the runway at Dakar Blaise Diagne International Airport (DSS) during a takeoff attempt, leading to injuries and temporary airport closure. The incident, involving flight HC301 bound for Bamako, Mali, resulted in injuries to 11 individuals, including severe injuries to up to four people.

Reports indicate that the aircraft was accelerating along runway 01 when the crew aborted takeoff due to a hydraulic defect. Subsequently, the aircraft veered left and exited the runway, catching fire near the Presidential Pavilion. Emergency slides were deployed, and all passengers were evacuated swiftly by airport emergency services.

The aircraft, registered as 6V-AJE, first flew in October 1994 and had been part of the Romanian flag carrier TAROM's fleet before joining TransAir in December 2023. It is now classified as "destroyed" according to ATDB.aero. This incident marks one of several recent aviation mishaps in Africa, emphasizing the region's ongoing challenges with air safety.

Blaise Diagne International Airport, serving as Senegal's primary international gateway and handling over 90% of the country's commercial flights, was closed temporarily to manage the aftermath and facilitate initial investigations. The closure impacted several flights, including diversions of a Turkish Airlines Airbus A330 and an ASKY Boeing 737 MAX to Banjul International Airport in The Gambia.

The Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis (BEA) has initiated an investigation to ascertain the cause of the incident. Meanwhile, operations at Dakar Airport resumed later the same day, with authorities confirming a return to normal activity levels.

The accident at Dakar Airport highlights critical issues related to aircraft maintenance and emergency response efficacy. As investigations continue, the aviation community awaits answers that could drive improvements in regional air safety standards.

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