Late on Sunday, a Korean Air Lines jet carrying 173 passengers overshot the runway at Cebu International Airport in the Philippines, the airline reported. It added that there were no casualties and everyone on board had safely evacuated.
Insufficient weather forced the Airbus SE A330 widebody travelling from Seoul to Cebu to undertake three landing attempts before it overran the runway at 23:07 (1507 GMT), according to a statement released by Korean Air on Monday.
“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.”
Widespread damage to the plane was visible in video from the scene that Reuters verified. It appeared as though the nose landing gear had collapsed.
On the airline’s website, Korean Air President Keehong Woo apologized and promised a full investigation by Philippine and South Korean authorities to ascertain 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.
According to flight-tracking website FlightRadar24, which reported that other planes to Cebu had been diverted to other airports or returned to their origin, the A330-300 jet involved in the disaster was delivered brand-new to Korean Air in 1998.
All domestic and international flights have been canceled till further notice, according to a statement made by the Cebu airport on its Facebook page. This was done in order to temporarily close the runway for the plane’s disposal.
According to the website Aviation Safety Network, which keeps track of aviation accidents, Korean Air has not experienced a fatal passenger disaster since 1997.
Despite having a poor safety record at the time, the airline asked Boeing Co. and Delta Air Lines Inc. for assistance in raising its standards. (Editing by Mark Porter and Diane Craft; reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney and Karen Lema in Manila)