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Plane skids off runway at Bolivian airport

Workers at the El Alto International Airport try to tow the plane off the runway.

A plane carrying at least 120 passengers skidded off a runway at an airport in Bolivia after its landing gear collapsed, closing the airstrip and leaving fliers stranded.

The Peruvian Airlines plane was landing at El Alto airport, which serves the capital city, La Paz, when it encountered problems at 10:22 a.m. local time Thursday, Bolivian state news agency ABI reported.

Images showed the plane sitting off the runway with its tail touching the ground.

None of the passengers or five crew members on the Boeing 737 was hurt, the agency reported, but the incident led to the closure of the runway and prompted cancellations and delays. The news agency reported there were 122 passengers on board, while the airline said there were 120.

The reason for the malfunction is being investigated, the airline said.

The aircraft blocked the runway for several hours, authorities said.

“Peruvian regrets the incident and reiterates its commitment to the safety regulations that govern commercial flights activity in our country and abroad,” the company said in its statement.

A crane was needed to lift the plane off the runway after the incident. The flight had been traveling from the Peruvian capital, Lima.

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