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93 escape death as plane skids off runway in Rivers

An Air Peace Flight P47291 carrying 87 passengers and six crew members from Abuja, yesterday, skidded off the runway at the Port Harcourt Airport, Omagwa, Rivers State while landing due to downpour.

However, there was no casualty in the incident, which occurred at 3.42 p.m. after the plane came to a halt some 200 meters in the bush by the runway.

Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), confirmed the incident.

Yakubu said although the Boeing 737-500 aircraft skidded off the runway, the pilot was able to stop the aircraft.

She noted that in spite of  the rain, the undercarriage of the aircraft did not sink into the soil.

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“All passengers disembarked successfully. There was no casualty, “Yakubu said.

The Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olajide, attributed the incident to the flooding of the runway.

Olajide said: “We confirm that Air Peace Flight Flight P47291 Abuja-Port Harcourt had a runway excursion upon landing at the Port Harcourt International Airport on June 22 due to downpour.

“Our professional crew quickly recovered within seconds of the incident and the aircraft was successfully normalised. Our esteemed passengers on board the flight were calm during the incident and disembarked normally.

According to Olajide, “Our teams of experts and the authorities are currently reviewing the incident and we will give our cooperation for a thorough exercise.

“We apologise to our esteemed passengers for the inconvenience caused them and wish to assure them that we will continue to prioritise their safety in all our operations.”

The affected aircraft has been granted for inspection by the aviation authorities.

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