A TransMaldivian Airways seaplane carrying passengers from the Conrad Maldives Rangali in Alif Dhaal atoll crash landed in the lagoon of the airport island Saturday morning.
The nine passengers and three crewmembers were rescued before the plane sank, TMA said in a statement, adding that an internal inquiry is underway.
The 8Q-TMV aircraft tipped over while attempting to land at the Velana International Airport’s waterway around 8:30 am.
The passengers and crew were reportedly released after treatment for minor injuries at the Hulhumalé hospital. They were rescued shortly after the crash landing by the fire and marine unit of the state-owned airport company in charge of VIA.
Seaplane accidents are relatively rare in the Maldives.
In July 2015, a TMA seaplane carrying 11 tourists crashed landed and near Kuredhu Island Resort. The 11 passengers and three crewmembers were able to evacuate without injury before the aircraft sank.
The accident investigation report was released in December last year.
In February 2012, a Maldivian Air Taxi aircraft crash landed on the water runway with nine passengers due to poor weather conditions. None of the passengers or crew sustained injuries.
A TMA flight also crash landed near Biyadhoo Island Resort in February 2011.
TMA, which merged with the Maldivian Air Taxi in 2013, operates the world’s largest seaplane fleet. With its doorstep delivery and pickup service from floating platforms outside resort islands, the private airline transports nearly a million passengers every year.
Photo from Twitter