Plane breaks on landing

Flight bounces off runway, skids into river in Indonesia after rain and fog

Plane breaks on landing


The Merpati airline Boeing 737 bounced off the tarmac at Rendani domestic airport in Manokwari, West Papua, hurtled into trees and skidded into a shallow river, said director general of civil aviation Herry Bhakti Singayuda.

“All the passengers were in total panic,” said passenger Zainal Hayat, 52, who crawled out of a crack in the fuselage and was being treated at hospital with facial injuries.
“We flew safely and the plane touched down smoothly on the runway but it just didn’t stop. It skidded very fast and I felt it hit something twice before it stopped and tumbled down.”
“I got out through a crack in the plane near my seat.” Singayuda said the plane came to a halt with its tail section in the river about 200 metres from the end of the landing strip.
“All 103 passengers and six crew members are safe. Some are injured. They have been rushed to hospital,” he said.

Heavy rain and fog were suspected of playing a part in the crash, he added, although expert investigators had yet to arrive at the scene. Witnesses said the left wing broke off as the plane smashed into the trees at the end of the runway. The cockpit was also separated from the rest of the fuselage.

The plane was flying a domestic route from Sorong to Manokwari, a distance of about 340 km.

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