SCAT airplane catches fire in Aktau airport18 june 2015, 16:06
SCAT airplane has caught fire in the airport of Aktau city in western Kazakhstan, Tengrinews reports citing the press service of the airline.
The incident occurred on June 16 when SCAT&rsquos Boeing 737-500 was undergoing a routine maintenance after it landed in Aktau at 18.18 p.m. local time (19.42 p.m. Astana time). The accident was reported to dispatchers at 18.42 p.m. and by 19.29 p.m. the fire was completely extinguished.
&ldquoThe airplane that made the flight from Astana to Aktau took off on schedule and landed in the airport of Aktau. The passengers got of the airline and the baggage was unloaded on time. Then, maintenance works started and the airplane suddenly started burning. The causes of the accident are being investigated,&rdquo head of the airline&rsquos press service Viktoria Ulyanova said.
The airport&rsquos personnel said the airplane caught fire after the pressure regulator of the oxygen cylinder used to refill the aircraft's oxygen tanks exploded near the right side of the aircraft.
As a result, Petrik Robert, a 47-year-old Lithuanian engineer of SCAT was injured and taken to the hospital with 1st degree thermal burns on his right hand and a situational neurosis. He is alright by now.
Passengers were not yet boarding for the next flight yet, so no passengers were injured in the incident.
The investigation is now underway to determine the causes of the accident.
Meanwhile, head of Kazakhstan Air Carriers Association Vladimir Kuropatenko blames the airport's firefighters for being unprepared to handle a fire. &ldquoI believe that the airport&rsquos firefighters failed to fulfill their duties when the aircraft caught fire. I cannot understand what they were hoping for and how they were going to put out a fire if all three fire extinguishers were empty and they had no fire-fighting foam at their disposal,&rdquo he is quoted as saying by Lada.kz.
Kuropatenko also believes people should not rush to blame SCAT airlines for the incident. &ldquoThe personnel of the airport that failed to extinguish the fire fast are to blame in the first place. If they had fulfilled their duties properly, SCAT airlines wouldn't have suffered such a loss,&rdquo he said.
He also blamed the firefighters for turning out late. According to him, they arrived at the site 12 minutes after the explosion. &ldquoThe firefighters should have been there 5-7 minutes after the accident occurred,&rdquo he said.
However, the region&rsquos chief transport prosecutor Galym Baigonysov has a different opinion on this matter. According to him, the firefighters did their job well. &ldquoThe rescue team arrived at the scene in 3 minutes. They extinguished the fire in 10-12 minutes. I can say the firefighters did their job in good faith. In any case, an investigation and test will be carried out. All videos of the fire will be analyzed. We will interview eyewitnesses of the incident," he is quoted as saying by Lada.kz.
Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina