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Asiana A320 Skids After Landing at Hiroshima, Japan; 23 Hurt

TOKYO - Twenty passengers were taken to hospital Tuesday after an Asiana jet skidded off the runway and spun around while landing at Japan’s Hiroshima Airport, officials said.

Local television pictures showed the Airbus A320 resting on the ground instead of its landing gear.

Flight OZ162 had arrived from the airline's home base in Seoul, Korea and had 73 passengers and eight crew, Asiana said in a statement, adding: "The exact cause of the accident is ... under investigation."

Approximately 23 people were lightly injured, 20 of whom were taken to hospital for assessment, an official at the local Mihara fire department told NBC News.

Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau said the plane landed from the east but spun 180 degrees before coming to a full stop and was facing the opposite direction. It had skidded off the runway and into some grass.

National broadcaster NHK reported that the plane's left engine and part of one wing are both damaged following the accident, which happened at 8 p.m. local time (7 a.m. ET).

Sparks were seen coming from the aircraft as it skidded on the runway surface, airport workers said, according to the channel.

An object believed to be an antenna from a nearby communication facility was found caught in the plane's left landing gear, Kyodo News reported, quoting the Transport Ministry.

On July 2013 an Asiana Boeing 777 crashed short of the runway as it attempted to land at San Francisco International Airport, killing three people.

- Arata Yamamoto and Alastair Jamieson