Tuesday, January 13, 2009

25 injured in air crash Philippines

MANILA, Philippines: A turboprop plane landed short of the runway then struck a concrete wall at an airport in the central Philippines on Sunday, injuring 25 crew members and passengers, including foreign tourists, officials said.

The accident led to a five-hour closure of the Caticlan airport in Aklan province and forced the diversion or cancellation of several flights, airport officials said.

An initial landing attempt by the twin-engine plane operated by budget carrier Zest Air failed "due to unfavorable wind conditions," Civil Aviation Authority Director General Ruben Ciron said.

The accident injured 22 crew members and passengers, including two Germans, two Australians and a South Korean bound for the popular Boracay beach in Aklan, about 190 miles (300 kilometers) south of Manila, airport official Ma. Mecine Torres told The Associated Press by telephone.

Two airport guards and a utility man on the ground were injured by flying debris, said Rachel Hilada, a doctor at the Aklan Baptist Hospital, where the injured were treated mostly for fractures and abrasions.

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