Korean Air plane overruns Cebu runway in bad weather; all safe
A Korean Air plane overran on the runway at Mactan-Cebu International Airport in the Philippines.
The Airbus SE A330 widebody, flying from Seoul to Cebu, had tried to land twice in poor weather before landing on the third attempt. All 173 crew and passengers were evacuated safely.
The 11 crew members and 162 passengers on Korean Air flight KE631 used emergency slides to escape from the damaged aircraft, officials and the airline said.
“Passengers have been escorted to three local hotels and an alternative flight is being arranged,” the airline said of flight KE361. “We are currently identifying the cause of the incident.”
Unverified photos from the scene on social media showed widespread damage to the plane, with the nose landing gear appeared to have collapsed.
Korean Air President Keehong Woo issued a letter of apology regarding the flight on the airline’s website, noting that a thorough investigation would be performed with local aviation authorities and Korean authorities to determine the cause.
“We remain committed to standing behind our promise of safe operations and will do our very best to institute measures to prevent its recurrence,” Woo said.
The A330-300 jet involved in the accident was delivered new to Korean Air in 1998, according to flight tracking website FlightRadar24, which said that other flights to Cebu had diverted to other airports or returned to their origin.
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority said the runway was closed temporarily pending an assessment.
Dozens of flights to and from Cebu province were canceled, including those of flag carrier Philippine Airlines, which initially announced more than 50 canceled domestic flights.
Korean Air has not had a fatal passenger crash since 1997, according to Aviation Safety Network, a website that compiles aviation accidents.
The airline had a poor safety record at that time but sought outside help from Boeing Co and Delta Air Lines Inc to improve its standards.