Plane overshoots Butuan runway, lands on fishpond but 148 passengers ok

PAL spokesperson Rolando Estabillo said the crew immediately deployed exit chutes and managed to get all the passengers to safely disembark.

John Danga, station manager of RMN DXBC in Butuan City said the plane plowed into a fishpond after overshooting Runway 30, the lone airstrip in Barangay Bancasi, Butuan City.

He said the plane was landing from the west when it overshot the runway, flew over a dirt road, target range of an Army camp and landed on its belly on the fishpond.

Danga said the plane appeared to have sustained major damage in the plane's cone.

"It is windy and there are low clouds in Butuan City right now. The plane came from the east. It is possible the pilot underestimated his landing," Danga told MindaNews.

Three firetrucks and several ambulance vans from Butuan City, some four kilometers away, rushed to the scene. They found most of the passengers already milling outside the plane.

One of the passengers, Health Regional Director Leonita Gorgolon said they were all shaken when they sensed that the plane would overshoot the runway.

"It came too fast and then I saw the road. That's when I sensed that something terrible will happen," Gorgolon told DXBC reporters.

Gorgolon said she managed to get off the plane through the emergency chute deployed by the plane crew.

Air Transportation Office Butuan manager Emmanuel Custillo said they tried to talk but failed to contact the plane's pilot, a certain Capt. Fernando J. Santos and his copilot Ramon Balinghasay.

He said the ATO has already started an investigation on the incident. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)