MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Philippine officials said the main airport was closed to international and domestic flights on Tuesday, even though the damaged Korean Air plane was stuck in the grass near the runway after a near-tragic accident over the weekend. allowed to partially resume.
The country’s second-busiest airport on Mactan Island in Cebu is reopening from sunrise to sunset to alleviate a number of canceled commercial flights and stranded passengers following the Korean Air crash on Sunday night. increase.
An Airbus A330 flying from Incheon, South Korea, with 173 people on board, made two landing attempts before overrunning the runway in rainy weather on its third attempt, Korean Air said in a statement.
According to Korean Air and Philippine authorities, 162 passengers and 11 crew members escaped from the emergency slide and there were no reports of serious injuries.
However, since the accident, more than 100 international and domestic flights have been canceled due to inoperable aircraft. Officials plan to tow the aircraft from the grassy area at the end of the runway later on the 20th at the latest. Philippine civil aviation officials said the unaffected portion of Mactan Airport’s only usable runway could resume flights during the day with good visibility after debris from Sunday’s accident was cleared. Stated.
The front lower abdomen of the fuselage was amputated and the nose was severely damaged. The plane lay leaning forward in the grass with no nose wheels in sight and emergency slides deployed on the doors. I could also see a torn cut hole in the top of the plane above the front door.
Philippine officials said Monday that the plane’s remaining fuel will be siphoned off before efforts begin to remove the aircraft at the end of the runway.
This horrifying close call has led to a public apology by the president of Korean Air and a pledge to prevent a recurrence by one of Asia’s most prominent airlines.
“We always put safety first in all of our operations, and we sincerely regret the stress and inconvenience caused to our passengers,” Korean Air President Wu Kee Hong said in a statement.
A Philippine investigation was underway to determine the cause of the accident, including why the pilot was allowed to land despite the wet weather.
Other planes managed to land safely in the same weather just before the Korean Air plane landed, Philippine aviation officials said.