Chinese plane slides off Manila airport runway in heavy rain

Pauline Gross
August 18, 2018

The main runway at Manila's worldwide airport would remain closed until 5 a.m. on Saturday (2100 GMT on Friday) to allow for more time to remove the plane, authorities said.

A passenger plane from China's Xiamen Airlines skidded off the runway and onto grass when it landed at the Manila worldwide airport early Friday. "We are still determining how it happened".

Thousands of passengers were left stranded as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) canceled several international flights due to an obstruction on the runway caused by the Xiamen air accident. After rounding over the airport for almost an hour, the plane attempted landing at 15:55 UTC, when the accident was reported.

A Xiamen Air representative, Lin Hua Gun, said the airline will send another plane to Manila to resume the flight.

"With God's blessings all passengers were able to evacuate safely", Monreal said, adding the cause of the incident was under investigation.

Local television network ABS-CBN later aired photos of a group it said were passengers from the flight wrapped in blankets as they lined up inside the passenger terminal.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesman Eric Apolonio earlier told AFP the incident occurred in heavy rain and passengers and crew used an emergency chute to leave the aircraft.

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Flights from Manila airport were disrupted on Friday after a Chinese passenger jet skidded off the runway while landing in torrential rain.

The NAIA authorities have yet to issue an official statement of the accident.

"The Manila (airport control) tower told us that the aircraft tried to land once, aborted, then circled back".

Media Affairs Division chief Connie Bungag said the airplane's load of cargo and luggage have been offloaded to lighten the plane for easy lifting of the front landing gears.

The incident forced a partial shutdown of the Philippines' main airport Friday.

As of press time, the disabled 66-ton aircraft has remained an obstacle during the last 12 hours on runway 06-24, preventing the landing and takeoff of all flights.

Due to the incident, NAIA's worldwide runway will be closed until 12pm (11am Thailand time) on Friday, a separate statement from airport authorities said.

Other reports by GizPress

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