MANILA: A medical evacuation plane exploded in a ball of flames during takeoff on Sunday (Mar 29) in the Philippine capital, killing all passengers and crew members on board, officials said.
The Lion Air plane was bound from Manila to Japan’s Haneda, and burst into flames at the end of the runway at around 8pm, Manila’s main airport, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MIAA), said.
The flight was carrying two passengers and six crew members, an advisory from the airport posted on the Philippine Department of Transport’s Facebook page read.
Senator Richard Gordon, who is also head of the Philipine Red Cross, said on Twitter the twin-jet West Wind 24 was carrying three medical personnel, three flight crew members, a patient and a companion.
“The plane caught fire and exploded as it was taking off the NAIA runway,” he added.
Video footage showed a huge plume of smoke rising into the night sky as fire crews doused the fuselage with foam.
“Unfortunately, no passenger survived the accident,” the Manila International Airport Authority said in a statement.
“The runway has been temporarily closed, as investigators from the Aircraft Accident Investigation Board of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines are now on site to determine the cause of the incident.”