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Iloilo International Airport to remain closed until Sunday night

A Cebu Pacific plane reportedly veered from the runway of Iloilo International Airport last Friday. Nobody was hurt. Screen shot from Facebook post of JP Janolino Peñol / Rappler.com

ILOILO International Airport will remain closed until Sunday evening as investigators are still on site recovering the Cebu Pacific Air aircraft that overshot the runway late Friday night.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), equipment are still being flown in from Manila while investigators, including members of the Aircraft Accident Investigation and Inquiry Board members, and a recovery team are working on the stricken plane.

No one from the 188 passengers and crew of CEB flight 5J641 on board an Airbus 320 were hurt during the accident, the CAAP, in a statement, said.

Records showed that while the plane was touching down from Manila, its nose gear landed on a soft spot at the end of Runway 20 causing it to veer off from its intended path.

Investigators believed that the soft spot was brought about by the heavy rains and strong winds that pummeled the airport shortly before the plane landed after 11 pm.

Local airport authorities immediately sent a rescue team who brought all on board the plane to safety.

As a consequence of the accident, all scheduled flights for October 14 and 15 were canceled.

As the closure of the airport was extended another day from Saturday, the CAAP said the airport will be ready for operation by 7 pm. on Sunday.

The CEB management, on the other hand, have yet to assess the damage caused by the accident to the aircraft.

Benjie Vergara
A veteran reporter covering the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. He is currently writing for Manila Times, the Philippines' oldest newspaper.

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