Indonesian plane carrying 130 passengers skids off runway

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JAKARTA: An Indonesian passenger plane carrying 130 people skidded off the runway as it landed at a major airport in heavy rain, the airline said on Thursday, the latest mishap to hit the country’s aviation sector.

No one was hurt after the Boeing 737-800 operated by Indonesian flag carrier Garuda came off the runway at the airport serving the city of Yogyakarta late Wednesday as it arrived from Jakarta.

Adisutjipto International Airport, on Java island, was closed following the incident, with authorities saying it would remain shut until Thursday afternoon to allow the plane to be removed from the area.

Services to and from Yogyakarta were axed, with flights supposed to arrive at the busy airport diverted to the nearby city of Solo.

The flight was carrying 123 passengers and seven crew, Garuda spokesperson Benny Butarbutar said in a statement.

Transport ministry spokesperson Agoes Subagio said the accident happened due to heavy rain.

The Indonesian archipelago relies heavily on air transport to connect its thousands of islands but has suffered a string of deadly plane crashes in recent years.

Yogyakarta airport has faced criticism for its poor safety record. In 2007, 21 people were killed when a Garuda plane overran the runway and burst into flames while landing there.