Plane skids off runway in Senegal, injuring at least 10

Air traffic control strike disrupts flights across West Africa

By Ngouda Dione and Zohra Bensemra

DAKAR (Reuters) -A plane with dozens of passengers skidded off a runway before takeoff at Senegal's main airport on Thursday, injuring at least 10 people and bringing the facility temporarily to a halt, the airport and Senegalese transport ministry said.

The Blaise Diagne airport said an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the accident, which occurred around 0100 GMT as the Transair-owned Boeing 737-300 chartered by Air Senegal was preparing to fly to Mali.

Night-time videos shared on social media showed passengers running away from a plane whose left wing appeared to be on fire. The aircraft was at a standstill in long grass and had deployed its emergency slides as smoke billowed into the sky.

Reuters was not immediately able to verify the videos, but Reuters reporters at the airport later on Thursday saw a plane with the Transair logo in the grass by the runway, cordoned off with red and white tape.

The airport said 78 passengers were on board and 11 people were wounded in the accident, including four serious injuries. The transport ministry said the plane was carrying 79 passengers and reported 10 people were wounded, including one of the plane's two pilots.

The airport was closed immediately after the accident, but had reopened as of around 1100 GMT, the airport said in an online post.

(Additional reporting by Bate Felix and Diadie BaWriting by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Toby Chopra, Andrew Cawthorne and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)