A plane carrying eight people, including an American and a Canadian, burst into flames while attempting to take off from Manila’s airport on a flight bound for Japan, killing all those on board, officials said.
The IAI 1124A Westwind crashed on takeoff from runway 24 and burst into flames at Manila-Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines. The aircraft carried out a medical evacuation flight to Tokyo, Japan.
The plane, which was carrying six Filipino crew members and the American and Canadian passengers, 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 aircraft with foam to try to extinguish the flames, he said.
“Unfortunately, there were no survivors,” Monreal told a late-night news conference.
He 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 Agusta WW24 aircraft apparently encountered an unspecified “technical problem” as it rolled to take off.
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.