A plane carrying 157 passengers skidded off a runway at Manila airport last night, tearing off an engine and a wheel.
The aircraft had circled for an hour and already abandoned one landing attempt as torrential rain pounded the tarmac in the early hours of this morning (Friday, August 17).
On the first attempt the plane reportedly “mis-approached” the runway at Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The jet lost contact with the tower on the second attempt, according to civil aviation chief Jim Sydiongco.
It appeared to have “bounced” in a hard landing then veered off the runway and rolled toward a rain-soaked grassy area with its lights off, Eric Apolonio, spokesman of the civil aviation agency said.
The 737-800 had been flying to the Philippine capital from Xiamen in south-east China.
Film shot by a passenger inside the Xiamen Airlines jet shows the panic that ensued. The film, shot from a seat above the engine that broke off, shows a heavy landing and then panicked voices from inside a dark cabin.
Passengers were evacuated by inflatable slide and no one was seriously injured. Four people were said to have suffered “superficial scratches” as they escaped the stricken jet.
Airport general manager Ed Monreal said: “With God’s blessing all passengers and the crew were able to evacuate safely and no injuries except for about four who had some superficial scratches.”
Monreal said the cause of the crash was still under investigation.
Passengers were taken to an airport terminal, where they were given blankets and food before being taken to a hotel, he added.
Aviation authorities have closed the airport’s main runway until 5am tomorrow, forcing some airlines to cancel, delay or reroute flights. A total of 133 flights were canceled in all four terminals while 10 were diverted to Clark, Cebu, Bangkok in Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Smaller aircraft were still able to take off from secondary runways, but thousands faced delays in the crowded terminal.
A Xiamen Air representative, Lin Hua Gun, said the airline will send another plane to Manila to resume the flight.
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