BANGKOK, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Investigation into Sunday's Thai Airways aircraft skidding off runway at Bangkok international airport has commenced, an official said on Wednesday.
Voradej Harnprasert, Department of Civil Aviation director general, said the investigation was to find the causes of the accident and preventive measures.
Conclusions from the preliminary investigation, together with the flight data recorder or black box, would be submitted to experts abroad for an in-depth probe, he said, adding that he does not know how long the investigation will take and it can takes up to years.
Thai Airways International flight TG679, operating an Airbus A330-300 aircraft, departed from Guangzhou to Bangkok on Sunday and skidded off the runway upon landing at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. The aircraft carried 288 passengers and 14 cabin crew. Forty passengers were injured, with 14 taken to hospital -- 12 of them were already discharged.
Meanwhile, Wiwit Deepradit, director of the Flight Standards Bureau at the Department of Civil Aviation told Bangkok Post on Tuesday that an initial investigation revealed the accident may have been caused by a faulty bogie beam, also known as a pivot, or truck beam, on the landing gear. The beam joins the two main axles of the actual gear.
The pilots had landed the plane smoothly and it had travelled along the eastern runway for about 1 km before the problem occurred, so the question is why the plane veered off the runway and the focus is on a defect in the landing gear, Wiwiat said.
Meanwhile, Sorajak Kasemsuvan, THAI president, said the damaged aircraft would possibly be moved from the eastern runway by midnight.
A total of 172 arriving and departing flights at Suvarnabhumi Airport were delayed on Tuesday at 10-20 minutes on average due to closure of the runway.