DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – An apparent mechanical failure damaged the nose of a Bangladeshi airliner during takeoff Monday, leaving 14 passengers injured and closing Dubai International Airport, airport officials and passengers said Monday.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Flight 006 was accelerating down the runway to take off at 6:30 a.m. when a malfunction occurred that caused its nose to drop to the runway, airport officials said.
The plane appeared to suffer a burst tire, a pair of airport officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The takeoff was aborted and the airport ordered closed with the plane left on the runway, officials said.
The plane's 236 passengers and crew were quickly evacuated and the injured passengers were taken to a hospital, the officials said. All injuries were said to be minor.
The plane was traveling to the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. Terrorism was not believed to be a factor in the incident, an official said.
The Dubai Department of Civil Aviation announced an eight-hour closure for Dubai International Airport, the busiest in the Middle East, until 2:30 p.m. local time. Dubai's aviation authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, the DCA said in a prepared release posted on the Dubai airport Web site.
The incident left thousands of stranded passengers stuck in its two terminals.
Emily Fleckner, 34, an American living in Dubai, was waiting to board a flight to Jordan when sirens blared and a swarm of emergency vehicles dashed down the runway.
"I knew something went wrong," Fleckner said.
The airport's public address system told travelers that all flights were delayed until further notice, Fleckner said. Incoming flights were being diverted to neighboring Abu Dhabi and elsewhere, airport officials said.