Date: March 22th, 1998
Type: A-320
Operator: Philippine Airlines
Where: Bacolod, Philippines
Report No.: Not Available
Report Date: -
Pages: -

This is not an accident investigation report.

Three Killed, Scores Hurt, In Philippines Jet Crash In Bacolod

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines - At least three people were killed and some 30 injured when a Philippine Airlines Airbus A-320 jet overshot the runway here on landing and plowed into a residential neighborhood last night.

Airport sources said PAL Flight 137 was carrying 121 passengers, including two infants, and six crew members. Some of the passengers were hospitalized with serious injuries. Radio station dzRH, which was reporting on the scene, said that at least 30 people were taken to three hospitals in the city. Those killed were all on the ground. Firefighters managed to douse the aircraft with foam to prevent any fires from leaking aviation fuel. The aircraft was scheduled to land at 7:40 p.m. but overshot the runway at 8:15.

Most of the victims on the ground were either having dinner or resting in their shanties in a squatters' area close to the airport when the plane plowed into their homes.

One of those killed was hit by the jet's wing. A wing also cut through the Brilliant City Pubhouse in front of the Golden Field commercial complex. A male employee of the pubhouse was taken in critical condition to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Hospital. Twenty of those injured were rushed to the Bacolod Sanitarium, about a kilometer away from the crash site. Six other victims were taken to the Western Visayas Regional Hospital here. One of the victims, Lyn Sapansa, 26, said she was at home with her sister Sarah Jane, 28, when the aircraft struck their house. Sarah Jane is in serious condition in a hospital. Reynald Cabanlo, who was with the Sapansa sisters, said he saw the PAL jet plow through the squatters' area. Bacolod authorities said about 30 houses were destroyed by the wayward plane.

Update: March 23, 1998 - Searchers Dig For Survivors Under Philippine Jet

BACOLOD, Philippines - Rescuers were digging under a Philippine Airlines passenger plane on Monday for possible survivors after the Airbus 320 ploughed into houses when it overshot the runway in the central Philippines, officials said. Three people died on the ground and 155, including two Japanese passengers and the plane's captain, were injured on Sunday when the Airbus smashed into 30 houses after landing at Bacolod city airport. The plane was carrying 121 passengers and six crew on a flight from Manila to Bacolod, 490 km (305 miles) south of the capital. All the passengers and crew have been accounted for, officials said. It was not yet clear how many on the ground were injured, they said.

``Our foremost concern is whether there are still bodies under the plane. We hope not,'' Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia told Reuters, referring to the possibility of people on the ground being trapped under the plane.

Officials described the plane as badly damaged, with part of its nose ripped open. Residents in the area said the plane was crumpled and one of the wings had dropped off. But officials could not say how long it would take to extricate the plane from the rubble.

Leonardia told Reuters it was ``a sort of a miracle'' that not too many people died when the plane smashed through the wooden houses before stopping on a disco, crushing it like a matchbox. The Air Transport Office has set up a team to investigate the cause of the incident, the second fatal air crash to occur in the country in seven weeks. The airline said it was airlifting five passengers -- a Malaysian woman and four Filipinos -- to Manila for treatment but gave no details. The Malaysian was identified in the plane's manifest as Cyndee Ann Ngo, the airline said.

Additional Details:-

BACOLOD City, Philippines -- Three people were killed and at least 89 were injured last night when a Philippine Airlines jet overshot a runway while landing and plowed into a residential area near the airport in this city.

All the confirmed fatalities were on the ground but the 121 passengers and six crew of the PAL Airbus A320 were safe although some were injured, along with many on the ground, and taken to at least four hospitals for treatment , said Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

Police identified one of the fatalities as the manager of the Brilliant City nightclub where the plane came to a halt after plowing through at least 30 houses and several other small business establishments.

Among those seriously injured was one of the pilots, who was reportedly unconscious when taken out of the plane by rescuers. Also injured were two Japanese passengers and an American but their identities were not immediately established.

PAL officials in Manila could not be reached for comment late last night but the airline’s media liaison officer in Cebu, Simoun Canton Jr., told The Freeman everything possible will be done to assist the passengers

PAL Flight 137 was on a domestic flight from Manila, leaving there are 6:30 p.m. and was landing at the Bacolod airport about an hour later when it overshot the runway by about 200 meters and plowed into the cluster of dwellings and other structures. “ It looks like a case of a plane overshooting the runway. The damage is quite substantial but the passengers apparently are all safe, though some of them were injured, “ Leonardia said.

Witnesses at the scene described the plane’s cockpit and landing gear as both crushed, the wings twisted, and the fuselage resting on top of several crushed structures with emergency vehicles around it.

What worries rescuers is the fate of several people still unretrieved underneath their crushed houses. The disabled plane is blocking the way to those pinned under the wreckage.

Firefighters were quick to arrive at the scene to douse the plane with foam to prevent leaking fuel from catching fire.

A survivor, Perlita Cabrea, told The Freeman the plane touched down somewhere halfway down the runway and the pilot apparently tried to abort landing but that the plane had already plowed into the row of houses across a creek before it could take to the air again. Dexter Jeanjacquet, a businessman in Bacolod, said he was at the airport waiting for his wife at the time of the accident.

“ I saw the plane touch down on the middle part of the runway but I did not hear the sound of engines breaking. The next thing we knew, we were showered with bits of rubber, “ Jeanjacquet said.

The businessman said he heard the engines rev up as if the pilot was trying to take off again. He also said that moments before the plane landed, lights at the airport blinked off for a few seconds.