Flight overshoots landing at Philippines airport

June 3, 2013 at 11:39 AM
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DAVAO CITY, Philippines, June 3 (UPI) -- Passengers on a Cebu Pacific flight that overshot its landing at an airport in the Philippines and ended in a ditch said they thought they "were going to die."

Cebu Pacific Flight 5J 971 faced turbulence and heavy rain as it approached the runway at Davao International Airport Sunday evening. It overshot the runway and came to a stop in a ditch, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

None of the plane's 165 passengers was injured.

"We thought we all were going to die," passenger Percival Jacones, 33, said. "Everyone panicked. There were shouting, especially among kids and women."

About 15 minutes after the landing, the pilot of the plane came out of the cockpit to address passengers.

"He told us that it was the heavy rain, and that they lost sight of the runaway lights," Jacones said.

Passenger Menard Dacono, 26, said none of the airline's staff spoke to them after that.

"No one from the airlines offered an explanation," Dacono said. "We were even barred from taking photos of the aircraft."

Frederick San Felix, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines airport area manager, said the runway Flight 5J 971 was supposed to land on will be closed until an investigation of the incident is completed.

"Until the aircraft investigation team is finished we cannot just clear the runway for use by commercial flights," San Felix said.

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