An airport personnel walks beside the remains of a Lion Air, West Wind 24 aircraft after it caught fire during take off at Manila’s International Airport in Philippines on Sunday, March 29, 2020. A plane carrying eight people has caught fire while attempting to take off from Manila’s airport on a flight bound for Japan, killing all those on board, officials said. (AP Photo)

Canadian among dead after plane catches fire at Manila airport, killing all 8 on board

The plane was bound for Tokyo on a medical mission

A plane carrying eight people, including a Canadian and an American, burst into flames Sunday while attempting to take off from Manila’s airport on a flight bound for Japan, killing all those on board, officials said.

The Westwind 24 plane, which was carrying six Filipino crew members and the Canadian and American, was bound for Tokyo on a medical mission when it caught fire near the end of the main runway, Manila airport general manager Ed Monreal said.

Firetrucks and rescue personnel rushed and doused the twin-engine aircraft with foam to try to extinguish the flames, he said.

“Unfortunately, there were no survivors,” Monreal told a late-night news conference.

Global Affairs Canada said the federal government is offering the Canadian’s family its consular services.

“Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the Canadian who died in a plane crash in the Philippines,” said spokeswoman Anabel Lindblad

“We offer them our deepest condolences.”

The airport general manager declined to identify the victims until their families were informed and said other details about the flight and the passengers were unclear.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the aircraft apparently encountered an unspecified “problem which resulted in a fire” as it rolled to take off, adding its chief investigator was on the way to the scene.

Video footage shows the aircraft engulfed in bright-orange flames in the darkness as firefighters scramble to put out the fire by spraying chemical foam while sirens blare.

Nearly three hours after the accident, the bodies of the victims were still inside the wreckage. Airport authorities were waiting for police investigators to examine the crash scene before retrieving the remains, Monreal said.

The airport’s main runway was closed due to the accident. The airport had only minimal staff due to air travel restrictions that are part of a monthlong lockdown imposed by the government in the main northern Philippine region of Luzon, where Manila, the capital, lies, to fight the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.

A Korean Airlines flight bound for Manila was diverted to Clark International Airport, north of Manila, due to the incident, Monreal said, adding that the main runway would be reopened as soon as the wreckage was removed.

Donaldo Mendoza, the deputy chief of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said the aircraft was deemed “airworthy” based on records and its pilots were properly certified to fly.

The plane had flown to central Iloilo province Saturday to deliver medical supplies without any incident, Mendoza said.

Mendoza said airport tower personnel were horrified to see the plane still rolling on the runway at a point when it should have already taken off, but added it remains unclear what trouble the plane encountered.

“They were really alarmed so they already picked up the hotline just in case, whatever happens, they can immediately call fire, crash and rescue,” Mendoza said.

— with files from The Canadian Press

Jim Gomez, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Black bear spotted at Christy Park in Terrace

Bear could be the same individual spotted on the bench recently

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Signs of the times: Terrace sign makers’ businesses evolve during COVID-19 pandemic

Scaife Signs and Silvertip Promotions & Signs Inc. created COVID-19 related materials in Terrace

New statue placed at George Little Park in Terrace

Kermode bear cub to commemorate Terrace Kinsmen’s contribution to the park’s renovations

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Most Read