Malaysia Airlines' Runway Incident At Sibu Airport Causes 48 Flights To Be Cancelled
Last night at 10.17pm, Malaysian Airline Flight MH2718, which was flying from KL, skidded off the runway at Sibu airport upon landing during heavy rain. The flight had a total of 67 people onboard.
According to reports, the runway was slippery due to heavy downpour. Malaysia Airlines confirmed the incident via Facebook.
"All onboard safely disembarked via two slide rafts. No injuries have been reported so far. The safety of all passengers is of utmost priority to Malaysia Airlines," MAS said.
The Malaysia Airline has launched an investigation to find out why the plane skidded.
One of the passengers took to Facebook to share the incident. He said though the plane had an awkward landing, everyone was safe.
Another passenger said the flight went through turbulence in a thunderstorm as it was nearing the airport, adding that the plane had to circle above Sibu for half an hour,
According to theSundayPost, the passenger said the pilot attempted to land at 10pm but was unsuccessful and had to pull up into the air again.
"He made the second attempt shortly and on touching down, the front wheel of the plane seemed to have been damaged and the plane skidded on the runway. We all made the emergency exit by sliding," theSundayPost quoted him as saying.
The Sibu airport has been closed until 10pm tonight, 9 April, for the removal of the aircraft, which is lying on its belly next to the runway
While all the passengers and crew members were safe, the aircraft sustained substantial damage as its nose gear collapsed in the incident.
The passengers drenched in the rain were shaken but were grateful they were safe.
MAS said it has deployed its air recovery kit from KL to assist with the removal of the plane, which went off Runaway 13 and landed on the soft ground at the airport.
"An aircraft investigation team is also on the way to assess the site," MAS said.
As a result of the incident, though, a total of 48 flights involving nearly 4,000 passengers have been cancelled today, 9 April
According to The Straits Times, the cancelled flights would have left for or arrived from Johor Baru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Bintulu, Miri and Kuching.
Airport manager Zainuddin Abu Nasir said that, "The airlines involved have made the decision to cancel their flights. We expect the operations at the Sibu Airport to return to normal by 8pm once works to remove the aircraft is completed."
Among of the 48 cancelled flights were 28 MASwings flights, 16 AirAsia and four Malaysia Airlines with a total number of 3,787 passengers.*