Passenger plane slides off runway in Iran and onto highway

Telegraph Reporters
Caspian Airlines aircraft which landed on a highway after it overshot the highway during its approach in in Iran's southwestern city of Bandar-e Mahshahr - AFP

A Caspian Airlines plane slid off the runway onto a highway on landing at an airport in southwestern Iran on Monday, but all passengers were evacuated without injury.

Authorities said two people suffered injuries in the hard landing of the McDonnell Douglas MD-83 flown by Caspian Airlines in Mahshahr, a city in Iran's oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province.

Passengers, apparently in shock, calmly exited the aircraft with their carry-on baggage out of a door near the cockpit and another over the plane's wing, video from Iran's Civil Aviation Network News showed.

A flight attendant shouted at passengers to calmly walk away as another crew member joined her on the wing.

"It ran out of runway when landing at Mahshahr airport with no casualties," state news agency IRNA said.

Some other Iranian media outlets reported 135 passengers and seven crew members were on board but there was no official confirmation.

IRNA, quoting local aviation officials, said a technical issue delayed the plane's landing which caused the accident.

Iranian media reported that the pilot was unable to deploy the landing gear, adding that the incident was being investigated.

Security forces are seen at the site after an Iranian passenger plane belonging to Caspian Airlines skidded off the runway near the airport in the southern city Mahshahr, Tehran Credit: Anadolu

Photographs of the aircraft show registration number EP-CPZ, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 built in 1994.

"The plane did not catch fire and all passengers safely left the plane," managing Director of Khuzestan Airports Mohammad Reza Rezaei told IRNA.

An unverified video shared on social media showed an evacuation of passengers from the plane sitting in the middle of a highway in Mahshahr.

On Saturday, an Iranian airplane en route from Tehran to Istanbul made an emergency landing at a Tehran airport because of a technical problem, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Iran's airlines have been plagued by crashes, which Iranian rulers blame on U.S. sanctions that block the airlines from replacing their ageing fleets or purchasing spare parts from the West