Xiamen Air flight skids off runway after landing at Manila airport

Xiamen Air flight skids off runway after landing at Manila airport

A Xiamen Airlines flight from Xiamen to Manila has crash landed at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, skidding off the runway while landing in stormy conditions. "Passengers of affected flights are advised to closely coordinate with their airlines for announcements", the authorities said in a statement.

The Boeing 737 from China's coastal city of Xiamen appeared to have "bounced" in a hard landing then veered off the runway shortly after and rolled toward a rain-soaked grassy area with its lights off, officials said.

The airport's general director, Eddie Monreal, said at a press conference that the plane tried to land twice but after the second attempt, the control tower lost contact with it.

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.

Aviation authorities are still determining the cause of the incident where a commercial flight of Xiamen Air skidded off the runway at 11:55 pm on Thursday.

The plane failed to land at first apparently due to poor visibility that may have hindered the pilots' view of the runway, Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Jim Sydiongco told reporters. The cause of the incident is still under investigation, he added.

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

TV footage showed the plane slightly tilting to the left, its left badly damaged wing touching the ground and its landing wheels not readily visible as emergency personnel, many in orange overalls, examined and surrounded the aircraft.

At least 48 worldwide and domestic flights were canceled while seven global flights were diverted to Clark worldwide Airport and Cebu Airport.

China's Xiamen Air has had an exemplary track record of safe operations since the 2000s.

Some of the thousands of stranded passengers after flights were cancelled. The weather has improved with sporadic downpours.

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