PHOTO: Malaysia Airlines flight MAS2718 skidded off the runway after attempting to land in a heavy downpour. (Photo courtesy of TravelPulse Canada)
A Malaysia Airlines plane skidded off a runway at Sibu Airport in Sarawak, Malaysia, yesterday, after landing during a heavy rainstorm. The incident, which occurred at 10:17 p.m. Saturday evening, caused the Borneo island airport to close to all inbound and outbound traffic.
Upon landing, the nose gear of the Boeing 737-600 aircraft collapsed, which is apparently what caused the airplane to skid off the runway. None of the 61 passengers and six crew on board MAS2718 were injured but all were required to disembark the plane using the emergency exit slides.
No other airline traffic was scheduled to arrive at the Borneo island airport during the incident. All subsequent traffic has been canceled or re-routed. Some 48 flights were affected by the closure, stranding more than 3,700 passengers.
While officials originally announced that they expected Sibu Airport to re-open on Sunday at 10 p.m., the airport has since revised that estimate until noon on Monday. The extra time is needed to continue repairs to the runway. All flights have been canceled through Monday morning.
Affected passengers are encouraged to contact their airlines directly for re-booking information.