A Korean Air plane crashed into a runway in the Philippines, closing the airport

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Posted by Jim Gomez | Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines — A damaged Korean Air plane was stuck on the grass at a central airport in the Philippines on Monday after it overran the runway in rainy weather the night before. Among the 162 passengers and 11 crew members who escaped from the plane with the help of emergency slides, there were no injuries.

Dozens of flights were canceled and Mactan-Cebu International Airport, one of the country’s busiest, remained closed after the plane came to rest at the end of its lone usable runway. The horrific close call prompted a public apology from Korean Air’s president and a vow from one of Asia’s most famous airlines to take steps to prevent a repeat.

“We always prioritize safety in all our operations, and we sincerely regret the stress and inconvenience caused to our passengers,” Korean Air President Wu Kihong said.

The front bottom of the plane was sheared off and the nose was badly damaged. The plane was leaning forward in a grassy area, its front landing gear was not visible, and emergency slides were deployed at the doors. A gaping hole was also visible in the top of the plane near the front door.

Philippine officials said the remaining fuel from the plane would be pumped out before efforts began to remove the plane from the end of the runway. Authorities were also assessing whether other planes stuck at the airport could be allowed to depart safely.

Dozens of flights to and from Cebu province were canceled, including flights by Philippine Airlines, which initially announced the cancellation of more than 50 domestic flights. An investigation into the accident is underway in the Philippines.

The Airbus A330, which was flying from Incheon, South Korea, attempted to land twice before overshooting the runway on the third attempt, Korean Air Lines Co. said in a statement.

“All passengers are safe and under the supervision of ground personnel,” the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said in a statement.

In 1981, a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 overshot the runway on takeoff from Manila International Airport and came to rest on the edge of a major highway. More than a dozen of the approximately 350 people on board were injured in the accident.

The plane crashed into a concrete fence and came to a rest on its belly, its front end jutting ominously over a busy side road on a key highway south of metropolitan Manila.

Associated Press reporter Hyun Jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea contributed to this report.

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