Romanian Plane Carrying 51 Makes Emergency Landing; All Escape

A Romanian plane carrying 51 people made a safe emergency landing in western Romania on Saturday and all the occupants escaped injury, officials said.

The Carpatair flight's front landing gear became stuck and the aircraft circled Timisoara International Airport for almost two hours, using up its fuel to avoid a potential fire before it landed on a bed of foam laid out by firefighters, officials said.

The Saab 2000 aircraft was carrying 47 passengers and four crew members on its flight from the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, to Timisoara, airport spokeswoman Carmen Stoica said.

The Emergency Inspectorate said at least 10 ambulances and three fire engines were waiting for the stricken plane.

Timisoara ambulance chief Iancu Leonida said there were no injuries, but people were very frightened.

"There are no injured people, although some might have minor scratches, but they are very scared and traumatized," he said. "They are being given medical care."

The airport said the plane landed using only the main landing gear, on a 200-yard long bed of foam.

Carpatair vice president Dan Andrei said that "when it landed, the plane came down on the side wheels; it braked sharply and at a low speed it came on its front belly, while the front landing gear remained stuck."

The Romanian Transportation Ministry has sent a team to Timisoara to investigate the incident.