Chinese plane pulled from mud at Philippine airport
by Agence France-Presse
A Chinese plane that slid off the runway at Manila airport was removed from the muddy spot where it had been stuck for more than a day, officials said, allowing normal operations to resume on Saturday.
Around 165 international and local flights were cancelled on Friday and Saturday at the Philippine capital’s main airport after the plane’s bumpy landing, said airport media officer Connie Bungag.
The Xiamen Airlines aircraft landed on its second attempt before skidding onto the grass, ripping off its left engine and blocking the runway late Thursday evening.
The 157 passengers and eight crew aboard were able to disembark without suffering any major injuries.
Moving the plane was complicated by heavy rains that softened the ground, making it difficult to install the two cranes needed to lift the aircraft, officials said.
By noon on Saturday, flights had resumed their normal schedule, but some passengers were not impressed by the speed of the recovery operation.
“At last,” tweeted one disgruntled observer. “That’s a record 36 hours.”
Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines spokesman Eric Apolonio said investigators had recovered the plane’s black box and flight data recorder and would be summoning the pilots next week to find the cause of the mishap.
The airport will schedule special flights after midnight to make up for some of the flights that were cancelled earlier, Bungag told AFP. (AFP)