Manila Airport Largely Shuts Down After 737 Skids off Runway

Aug 17, 2018

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On Thursday afternoon, news broke that a Xiamen Airlines Boeing 737-800 veered off a runway in Manila, resulting in a lost engine. The aircraft was carrying 157 passengers and eight crew, and miraculously, no one was seriously injured in the landing, which went awry because of poor weather. Manila airport has been largely closed due to the incident, causing serious problems for air traffic into the Philippine capital.

Xiamen Flight 8667 from Xiamen, China (XMN) to Manila (MNL), landed on the second attempt after an initial go-around during a downpour. According to Philippine officials, the aircraft lost contact with the tower as it rolled off the runway.

During its near-disastrous landing, one of the aircraft’s engines ripped off. Once the aircraft came to a stop in a rain-soaked field, passengers exited via emergency slides.

A torn-off engine pod from a XiamenAir Boeing 737-800 series passenger aircraft, operating as flight MF8667 from Xiamen to Manila, is seen after the aircraft slid off the runway while attempting to land in bad weather at the Manila international airport on August 17, 2018. - A Chinese passenger jet slid off the runway as it landed at Manila airport in torrential rain, authorities said August 17, with all 165 people on board safely evacuated though a few suffered minor injuries. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP) (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP / Getty Images.

Manila Airport General Manager Ed Monreal and other officials said that passengers — many of whom were both shaken from the experience and drenched from the rain — were taken to an airport terminal. There, they were given blankets and food before being taken to a nearby hotel.

“With God’s blessing, all passengers and the crew were able to evacuate safely and no injuries except for about four who had some superficial scratches,” Monreal said.

Jim Sydiongco, the director-general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, told reporters that when the pilots tried to land the aircraft on its first attempt, their view of the runway could have been hindered by poor visibility. Investigators have retrieved the plane’s flight data recorder and will obtain the cockpit voice recorder once the aircraft has been lifted. Then, investigators hope to determine the cause of the accident.

MNL airport will remain mostly closed until Saturday morning local time while the 8-year old 737 is removed by emergency crews using a crane. A smaller runway will remain open during that time for domestic flights. According to USA Today, nearly 80 international and domestic flights have been canceled or diverted because of the airport being mostly closed.

A crane prepares to lift a Xiamen Air Boeing 737-800 series passenger aircraft, operating as flight MF8667 from Xiamen to Manila, after it skidded off the runway while attempting to land in bad weather at the Manila international airport on August 17, 2018. - The Chinese passenger jet slid off the runway as it landed at Manila airport in torrential rain, authorities said on August 17, with all 165 people on board safely evacuated. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP) (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP / Getty Images.

A representative for Xiamen said that the airline will send another aircraft to MNL to continue operations in the place of the 737 involved in the incident. The Civil Aviation of China also said that it would be sending a team to help in the investigation.

The incident comes just a couple weeks after another jetliner crashed in Mexico. Aeromexico Flight  2431 crashed into the ground just after takeoff from Durango (DGO). Amazingly, like this Xiamen incident, no fatalities were reported.

Featured photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP / Getty Images.

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