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DAVAO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – A Cebu Pacific plane carrying 165 passengers overshot the runway of the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City on Sunday evening, June 2.
Col Leopoldo Galon, chief of the military’s 5th Civil Relations Group, said flight 5J 971 from Manila overran the runway and hit its uncemented portion at around 7:10 pm.
Galon said no one was hurt in the incident, which happened during heavy rain.
A passenger, Jun Narciso, told Rappler that one of the plane’s engines was already on fire before landing.
“The landing was very sudden and the pilot immediately braked. The pilot also immediately turned off the plane’s engine,” Narciso said.
Luckily, he added, the heavy rain extinguished the fire.
Another passenger, Laiza Lacida, however claimed the engine was not on fire before landing. “We can smell smoke inside the plane but the plane was not on fire,” she said.
Cebu Pacific Air said in an advisory that the plane landed safely but “veered off to the right side of the Davao International Airport runway during a heavy downpour.”
“All 165 passengers have been safely shuttled to the airport terminal and their needs are being taken care of,” the airline company said.
Passengers said they were irked, not just because of the incident, but also because of poor response from the airport and the airline company personnel.
“The rescue team only arrived 15 minutes after the incident,” Narciso said.
Narciso added that the cabin crew refused to open the plane’s door and failed to explain to the passengers what was happening.
“After 15 minutes, the pilot went out of the cockpit and explained that the problem was caused by the plane’s wiper,” Narciso narrated.
Other passengers claimed that the responding units were not prepared and lacked proper equipment.
Most of the passengers had to walk almost a kilometer just to reach the arrival section of the airport without any personnel from Cebu Pacific offering assistance or even comfort, one passenger commented.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport refused to provide any information regarding the incident.
Due to the incident, all other flights are temporarily cancelled as of posting. – Rappler.com