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Taiwan Jet Catches Fire; 25 Injured

August 24, 1999

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ A domestic passenger jet caught fire today as it landed in east-central Taiwan, injuring 28 of the 96 people aboard.

It was the second accident involving a Taiwanese airline in three days.

As the UNI Airlines MD-90 touched down, there was a loud ``strange noise″ from the front of the cabin and thick black smoke poured from one of the overhead luggage compartments, said the airline’s vice chairman, Si Chung-ching.

Eyewitnesses reported a ball of fire on the runway after the jet landed at the Hualien Airport, 110 miles southeast of Taipei, following a 25-minute flight from the capital.

Television footage showed black smoke belching from the plane’s fuselage as firefighters struggled to douse the flames.

Si said the passengers were quickly evacuated, and it took 30 minutes to put out the fire. A man and a woman suffered serious injuries, with burns covering more than 60 percent of their bodies, he said.

The plane carried 90 passengers and six crew members.

On Sunday, a China Airlines MD-11 jetliner flying out of Bangkok burst into flames as the pilot tried to land in Hong Kong, killing two people and injuring more than 200 aboard the Taiwanese carrier.

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