Passenger plane crashes off end of runway during horrendous rain storms

A Korean Air plane careered off the runway in the Philippines yesterday before skidding to a halt on sodden grass.

Pictures show the badly-damaged aircraft, with its emergency slides activated, still blocking the airport’s lone runway this morning.

No serious injuries were reported among the 162 passengers and 11 crew members on board flight KE631, with all of them escaping using the slides after the incident in wet conditions.

Some had minor injuries which were treated at the airport clinic.

Dozens of flights have been cancelled at Mactan-Cebu International Airport – the country’s second busiest – which was still closed this morning.

Filipino officials said the plane’s remaining fuel would be siphoned off before efforts begin to remove it.

The Airbus A330, which was flying in from Incheon, South Korea, attempted to land twice before overrunning the runway on the third attempt, Korean Air Co. revealed in a statement.

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Local authorities were also assessing if the other aircraft stranded at the airport could be allowed to fly out safely.

The stalled aircraft was in a sorry state at the end of the airport’s lone usable runway after the horrifying crash.

Its front undercarriage was sheared off and its nose was badly damaged.

The plane was lying tipped forward on a grassy area with its front landing wheel not visible and a hole visible near a front door.

The incident prompted Korean Air’s president to publicly apologise and promise to take steps to prevent future incidents.

‘We always prioritise safety in all of our operations, and we truly regret the stress and inconvenience brought to our passengers,’ Woo Keehong said.

Dozens of flights to and from Cebu province were cancelled, including those of flag carrier Philippine Airlines, which initially announced more than 50 domestic flights would be scrapped.

Glenn Napuli, the airport’s assistant general manager, said yesterday that authorities were working to resume flights within the day.

‘We are hoping by tomorrow (Monday) we can remove the aircraft,’ he explained.

An investigation is underway.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said: ‘All passengers are safe and being attended by ground personnel.’

Four years ago, a Xiamen Airline aircraft slid off the runway at Manila airport, forcing more than a hundred flight cancellations until the Chinese plane was pulled from the mud after more than a day.

In 1981, A Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 jetliner overshot the runway while taking off from the same airport and skidded to a stop at the edge of a major highway.

More than a dozen of the roughly 350 people onboard were injured in that incident, which saw the plane hit a concrete fence and left its front section frighteningly protruding over a busy side road.

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