Airlink plane overshoots George runway

A South African Airlink plane overshot the runway at George Airport on Monday and landed near the N2 highway, the Western Cape safety and security department said.

“It didn’t affect traffic on the freeway, but 35 people were ejected from the aeroplane, three of them with minor injuries,” said spokesperson Julian Jansen.

“It left the runway and came to a halt at an intersection between the airport and the N2 freeway,” he said.

George municipality’s chief traffic officer Kenny Africa said everyone aboard the plane had been removed from the scene.

“The road between the airport and N2 is now closed,” he said

“Airlink has arranged trauma counselling for all passengers and crew. Airport staff and trauma councillors are with the passengers at present,” Airlink spokesperson Karin Murray said in a statement.

Springboks Sevens squad member Deon Helberg was on the Embraer 135 aircraft, but was uninjured, she said.

The 37-seater aircraft was arriving from Cape Town just before midday when it “aquaplaned off the end of the wet runway”, said Murray.

“Weather at the time is reported as being overcast with rain.”

She said it appeared the aircraft was damaged, but the extent was unknown.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused to our passengers.”

A few months ago, another Airlink plane crash-landed at school grounds in Durban. The pilot was fatally injured. Three people were critically hurt.—Sapa

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