Flight delays at Manila airport after plane skids off runway

Flight delays at Manila airport after plane skids off runway

The Boeing 737-800, landing after a flight from Xiamen "went off the runway during a heavy downpour", said Connie Bungag, the officer in charge of Manila International Airport Authority's (MIAA) public affairs office.

All 157 passengers and eight crew members were evacuated from the plane. The cause of the incident is still under investigation, he added.

"We have no reports yet of injuries but the passengers were all drenched", said Eric Apolonio, a spokesman of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

The plane "misapproached" on its first attempt to land and lost contact with the control tower on the second, when it skidded off the runway after touching down, said Ed Monreal, the general manager at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

A Chinese passenger jet slid off the runway as it landed at Manila airport in torrential rain, authorities said Friday, with all 165 people on board safely evacuated.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila's main international gateway, will be closed most of Friday while emergency crews remove excess fuel then try to lift the aircraft, its belly resting on the muddy ground, away from the main runway, which was being cleared of debris.

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Investigators retrieved the plane's flight recorder and will get the cockpit voice recorder to determine the cause of the accident, he said.

All the passengers and crew of Xiamen Air flight MF8667 were safe and were taken to an airport terminal, where they were given blankets and food before being taken to a hotel, Philippine officials said.

Images of the plane operated by Xiamen Air, a subsidiary of China Southern Airlines, showed it next to an airport perimeter fence with the left wing touching the ground.

Hundreds of stranded passengers jammed one of the three airport terminals due to flight cancellations and diversions. None were injured in the incident.

"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. The weather has improved with sporadic downpours.

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