By Huu Cong
A Vietjet Air plane skidded off the runway at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City Sunday afternoon, landing amidst a heavy downpour.
Flight VJ322 had flown in from Phu Quoc Island off the southern coast. As it landed at Tan Son Nhat, it skidded off the runway into a grass field at 12:24 p.m.
Functional forces at the airport are dealing with the accident.
Hoang Trieu, 40, who was taking photos from a building right outside the airport, witnessed the entire incident.
“The rain was pouring heavily and the plan slid on the grass,” Trieu said.
“One of it wheels exploded and the landing gear ploughed deep into the ground. A fire truck immediately arrived at the scene, and around an hour later, a bus came to pick up the passengers.”
The incident has affected many other flights.
A representative from the Southern Airports Authority said: “The runway might have to be closed until 5 p.m. All landing and taking off will be affected.”
The runway in the incident is the only one operative at Tan Son Nhat, which has two runways. The other has been closed for upgrade.
Vietjet has confirmed the accident, saying all passengers are safe and have disembarked.
It said that “there has been no damage.”
The carrier blamed heavy rains and strong winds for the accident, which forced several other flights to circle around the airport instead of landing as scheduled.
With Storm Nuri forming over the East Sea early on Saturday, heavy rains and strong winds have lashed many places in southern Vietnam, including HCMC, according to the Southern Region Hydrology Meteorology Forecasting Station.
Falling tree branches due to heavy rains killed one man and injured at least another in the city on Saturday.
The storm made landfall in southern China on Sunday morning.