Monday, August 24, 2009

Tourist plane skids off runway at Manila airport

MANILA (AFP) - – A plane carrying 32 people from the Philippines resort island of Boracay skidded off the runway after landing at Manila's main international airport on Sunday, officials said.

The small plane belonging to SEAIR, a local airline mainly serving tourist routes, was hit by crosswinds as it came in to land but no one was hurt in the incident, said airport official Harold Balucatin.

The plane got stuck in the grass at the side of the runway, he said. The runway was temporarily closed while repair crews tried to move the plane, which suffered damage to its landing gear.

The plane was returning from Caticlan, the town that serves the foreign tourists, one of the country's leading beach resorts, airport officials said.

Neither airport nor airline officials were able to say if there were any foreign tourists aboard the plane.

The accident came less than a month after a hard landing by a SEAIR plane at Caticlan airport forced flights there to be briefly suspended.

In January, at least two passengers were seriously injured when a small plane operated by Zest Airways missed the runway on landing and smashed into a concrete wall at the Caticlan airport.

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