TOKYO (AP) _ A Delta Airlines jet was forced to abort takeoff Saturday after two tires suddenly ruptured, shutting down traffic at Tokyo's international airport for an hour. No one was injured.

The MD-11 had begun to roll down the runway to depart on a flight to Atlanta, Ga., when the tires burst, bringing the jet to a halt in the middle of the only runway at Japan's busiest airport, an airport spokesman said.

The 238 passengers and crew of Flight 56 later disembarked as ground crews replaced the two tires, the spokesman said, speaking anonymously.

They were to reboard the plane for the flight to Atlanta, he said.

Airport officials closed the New Tokyo International Airport's runway for an hour, first to remove the jet and then to inspect the runway for damage and clues as to what caused the ruptures.

The shutdown delayed thousands of Japanese tourists about to leave for overseas vacations as the nation enters one of its busiest travel seasons.