MANILA, Philippines -- A Korean Airlines Boeing 747 jetliner overshot the runway on a takeoff from Manila's international airport today and skidded to a halt near a highway, injuring 13 of the 352 people aboard, authorities said.
Eyewitnesses said the plane never got off the ground and skidded, knifing power lines, hitting a fence and coming to a halt on its belly with nose protruding over a service road near a superhighway.
Passengers on the Korean airlines flight were removed from the plane via the emergency evacuation chutes and 13 people, mostly Koreans, were later treated for minor cuts and fractures, but none of the injuries was serious, hospital sources said.
Firemen pumped water into the Boeing 747's cabin to prevent possible fire but the gigantic plane, although it ran into a fence, suffered only slight damage to the landing gear.
'It just skidded at the end of the runway,' said an air traffic controller, adding that the pilot seemed 'to want to abort his takeoff but it was no longer possible.'
Instead he was 'just forced to continue his takeoff because he reached a certain speed and could no longer turn back,' the controller said.
The Korean airlines jetliner with 332 passengers and 20 crew members had made a one-hour stopover in Manila on a flight from Seoul, Korea to Zurich, Switzerland, via Manila and Bahrain.