CEBU CITY, The wheel well of a Cebu Pacific turboprop ATR 72 aircraft bound for Tacloban City caught fire while taxiing after aborting take off at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Lapu-Lapu City Monday evening.
One passenger sustained injury while evacuating the plane and was given immediate medical attention, the airline said in a statement.
Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete said the incident delayed several flights, but normal runway operations resumed immediately after the incident.
“Five incoming flights and two outgoing were affected but immediately landed and took off after the incident. Operations were back to normal immediately thereafter, as there were no cascading delays,” he said.
Cebgo Flight DG6577, with 67 passengers and crew, aborted the takeoff due to a “fluctuating oil indication on one of the engines.”
“While taxiing after aborting take-off, the aircraft encountered fire in the wheel well, which was then contained. The crew initiated an immediate evacuation of the passengers in line with standard emergency procedures. All passengers and crew were safely evacuated,” lawyer JR Mantaring, Cebu Pacific vice president for corporate affairs, said in a statement released at 8:20 p.m. Monday.
Firefighters declared the fire which started around 7:04 p.m., under control around 7:55 p.m.
Mantaring said the airline’s on-ground team has assisted all other affected passengers, including their hotel accommodations and providing meals and transfers.
”CEB has notified and is fully cooperating with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) with regard to the incident,” the company’s statement read.
Villarete said the MCIAA and Cebu Pacific will have an assessment Tuesday to determine what caused the fire in the wheel well of the ATR 72 aircraft. (PNA)