DHL cargo plane splits in two after crash landing at Costa Rica airport | Costa Rica


A Boeing 757-200 cargo aircraft operated by DHL has made a dramatic emergency landing at Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaria international airport, skidded off the runway and broke in two, losing its tail.

DHL, part of Deutsche Post AG, said the crew was unharmed and that one member was undergoing a medical review as a precaution.

Images from Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion showed a yellow plane emblazoned with the DHL logo being doused with firefighting foam where it had landed on a grassy field next to a runway. The tail had detached and a wing had broken, the photos show.

The aircraft was bound for Guatemala when it apparently had a failure in the hydraulic system, said Luis Miranda Munoz, deputy director of Costa Rica’s civil aviation authority. The issue prompted the pilot to request an emergency landing shortly after takeoff, he said.

The DHL cargo plane after the emergency landing in Costa Rica
The DHL cargo plane after the emergency landing. Photograph: Ezequiel Becerra/AFP/Getty Images

A Boeing Co spokesperson said it would defer questions to investigating authorities. DHL and airport authorities said they were working together to move the aircraft, although they said it was not affecting operations.

“DHL’s incident response team has been activated and an investigation will be conducted with the relevant authorities to determine what happened,” DHL said.

Airport operator Aeris said the airport, on the outskirts of capital San Jose, reopened at 3.30pm local time, about five hours after the crash and several hours earlier than expected.

Some 8,500 passengers and 57 commercial and cargo flights were affected by the closure, Aeris said.





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