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Runway closure forces emergency landing

A China Airlines plane made an emergency landing Wednesday in western Japan after the airport at its scheduled destination was temporarily closed, an official said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A China Airlines plane made an emergency landing Wednesday in western Japan after the airport at its scheduled destination was temporarily closed, an official said.

The Airbus A330 with 163 people aboard was en route from Taipei to Chubu in central Japan when that airport's runway was closed for about 30 minutes due to a minor incident involving another plane.

The China Airlines plane requested a landing at Kansai airport, about 125 miles away, saying it did not have enough fuel to wait for Chubu to reopen, said airport official Maki Yamanaka.

The plane landed safely at Kansai shortly before 9 p.m., there were no reports of injuries to the passengers or crew, and it was refueled for the flight to Chubu, Yamanaka said.

China Airlines officials in Taipei were not immediately available for comment. The phone rang unanswered at the airline's office in Tokyo.

On Monday, a China Airlines Boeing 737 exploded in flames just seconds after its 165 passengers and crew evacuated the plane at Okinawa Airport in southern Japan.

Boeing officials and U.S. aviation investigators are still examining the wreckage of the plane, focusing on a suspected fuel leak.