Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Chinese plane slides off Manila airport runway in heavy rain

The left engine of Boeing passenger plane from China a Xiamen Air sits several meters away on the grassy portion of the runway of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after it skidded off the runway while landing Friday Aug. 17 2018 in suburban Pasa Chinese plane slides off Manila airport runway in heavy rain
Patty Aguilar | 17 August, 2018, 22:44

The Boeing passenger plane from China skidded off a runway while landing in a downpour and its 157 passengers and eight crew members were evacuated on an emergency slide, officials said. All others aboard Xiamen Air Flight 8667 were unhurt.

Flight tracking website Airlive reports that flight MF8667 circled for some time near the airport before attempting a landing, and aborting it.

"We think that when (it) landed, the plane swerved to the left and veered off the runway", said Monreal, who expressed relief that a disaster had been avoided.

The specific cause of the incident is still under investigation.

The authorities lifted part of the body off the ground Friday morning to recover its cargo as well as its flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, both vital to determining the cause of the accident.

The aircraft is still resting on its belly near the end of the airport's main runway where it came to a stop after the accident, which occurred late on Thursday evening.

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A smaller runway for domestic flights remained open, they said. Footage from the scene shows the plane sitting lopsided in the grass with an engine appearing detached from the left wing.

The flight from Xiamen, China, aborted one landing after circling Manila for about an hour in the early hours of Friday.

Around 49 flights were cancelled, while at least 10 flights were diverted.

Numerous passengers, who were unaware that they could rebook their flights, simply left the airport in disgust after being left stranded for several hours and upon learning of the suspension of operations.

"We offer no excuses, just a promise to bring NAIA flight operations back to normalcy by tomorrow using all our internal resources and if needed, employ outside resources notwithstanding the cost it will entail", Monreal said in a statement.

Torrential monsoon rains enhanced by a tropical storm flooded many low-lying areas of Manila and outlying northern provinces over the weekend, displacing thousands of residents and forcing officials to shut schools and government offices. The weather has improved with sporadic downpours.

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