Plane from Singapore veers off runway while landing in Sarawak airport

SIBU - A Singapore training aircraft skidded and veered off the airport runway during landing in Sibu, Sarawak on Monday.

The plane, King Air C90B with three people on board, had earlier taken off from Seletar Airport in Singapore.

"The three people on board, who include the pilot and two trainees, were foreigners. They escaped without injuries. We have brought them for observation before they will fly off again tomorrow (Tuesday)," Sibu airport manager Zainuddin Abu Nasir told reporters.

Asked on what caused the incident, he said the Air Accident and Air Airworthiness Unit of the Malaysian Transport Ministry is investigating the mishap.

Mr Zainuddin said seven flights were affected after the airport was closed for three hours from noon.

The cancelled flights were AK5872 from Kuala Lumpur to Sibu, and Kuala Lumpur-bound AK5873.

The outgoing flights that were delayed included AK5013 Sibu-Johor Baru; AK5883 Sibu-Kuala Lumpur; AK6469 Sibu-Kuching; MH3703 Sibu-Kuching; MH3154 Sibu-Kota Kinabalu and MH3806 Sibu-Bintulu/Miri.

Mr Zainuddin said that Flight AK5882, which was on its way from Kuching, had to make a turn back.

A passenger of an Air Asia Johor-bound Flight AK5013, who only wished to be identified as Tou, said the plane was about to depart when the pilot decided to turn back.

"It was about noon when the plane was slowly moving out from the runway and was about to depart. About three minutes later, the pilot decided to turn back. We were not told of the reason but from the window, we knew why as we could see a small plane that was a little bit out of the runway," he said.

Mr Tou, who is from Kapit, was using the flight as a transit to Singapore. He said the airbus was about 70 per cent full then.

The flight was delayed to 4pm, resulting in passengers being stranded at the airport.

Teacher David Teo was sending his mother off at the airport when the 1.10pm AirAsia flight to Kuching had to be delayed due to the incident.

"My brother called up at about 2.30pm, asking why the plane had not landed. We have to tell him the reason for the delay," he said.