Indian airliner evacuated after rear wheel catches fire in Nepal

KATHMANDU (REUTERS) - A rear wheel of an Airbus A320 operated by an Indian budget airline caught fire after landing at Nepal's international airport in Kathmandu on Saturday, officials said.

All 176 passengers and six crew on board the IndiGo flight from New Delhi were evacuated through the emergency doors and are safe, Airport General Manager Rishikesh Sharma said. There were no reported injuries.

Sharma said one of the rear wheels of the plane caught fire as the aircraft was heading to the parking bay after landing.

A statement by IndiGo said the fire was only noticed after parking.

The cause of the fire, that was quickly doused, was not immediately clear, Sharma said refusing to say how big the fire was.

Authorities are investigating the incident.

The Indian carrier said it had grounded the aircraft for inspection.

The incident ocurred only hours after a Boeing 777-200ER, operated by Malaysia Airlines and carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, went missing over the South China Sea. The carrier is presumed to have crashed.

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