Image: Airbus A-310 jet of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Flight 006
Str  /  AP
Workers focus on the landing gear wheel assembly under one of the wings of the Airbus A-310 jet of Biman Bangladesh Airlines Flight 006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A wheel failure during takeoff caused injuries to 14 passengers.
updated 3/12/2007 3:37:02 PM ET 2007-03-12T19:37:02

The wheel of a Bangladesh airliner malfunctioned during take off Monday, and the plane’s nose and engines slammed into the ground. Fourteen passengers were injured and the Middle East’s busiest airport closed for eight hours.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Flight 006 was accelerating down the runway at 6:30 a.m. when the wheel malfunctioned, airport officials said.

The 236 passengers and crew were evacuated and the injured were taken to hospitals, the officials said. All injuries were said to be minor.

Nearly three dozen flights to Dubai were diverted after Civil Aviation authorities closed the airport. The flights were rerouted to other Emirates airports, as well as neighboring Oman and Iran — on the other side of the Persian Gulf.

The airport reopened in the early afternoon.

The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority issued a photo of the Airbus A-310 that showed the plane tipped forward and resting on its engines, which were partially crushed. Long, curving skid marks were visible on the runway, tailing out from both sides of the jet.

An airport official declined to say exactly what had happened, but said the wheels were being replaced. The photo showed a trailer containing spare wheels parked near the jet. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Earlier officials said it appeared that a tire blew.

The plane was traveling to the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. The incident left thousands of passengers stranded at the two terminals of Dubai International Airport, the busiest in the Middle East.

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 outgoing flights were delayed until further notice, Fleckner said.

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