Indonesian plane skids off runway after hitting cow

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Lion Air Indonesia. AFP PHOTO / ROMEO GACAD

JAKARTA – An Indonesian passenger jet crashed into a cow and skidded off the runway after it landed into an airport in the center of the archipelago, officials said Wednesday.

No one among the 110 passengers of the Lion Air plane was killed or seriously injured when the plane hit one of three cows wandering on the runway as it arrived late Tuesday in Gorontalo, on Sulawesi Island.

The cow, however, was crushed to death under one of the Boeing 737-900’s middle wheels, head of Jalaluddin airport Agus Pramuka told AFP.

The pilot, Iwan Permadi, told state-run Antara news agency he could smell “burning meat” as the jet ran over the animal.

He said he thought there were dogs in front of the plane as it came into land, “but it turned out there were three cows wandering in the middle of the runway.”

Pictures showed the dead cow under the aircraft’s wheel in a field. The plane, which suffered minor damage, had skidded into the field next to the runway, with its tail still on the runway.

All the passengers managed to disembark safely, transport ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan told AFP.

The plane had started its journey in Jakarta and also had a stopover in Makassar, on Sulawesi, according to local media.

The airport was closed following the incident, disrupting travel plans for people heading home for the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Muslim-majority Indonesia.

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