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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — A DHL cargo plane slid off the runway and broke in half while landing at San Jose International Airport on Thursday, shutting down the airport but not injuring the airport. ‘crew.
Firefighters said the Boeing 757 took off from Juan Santamaría airport just west of the capital, but decided to return after detecting a hydraulic system failure.
Héctor Chaves, director of the Costa Rican fire department, said upon landing the plane skidded, spun and broke in two, exposing its cargo.
“Units mobilized to remove the pilot and co-pilot,” Chaves said. “Then they applied foam to prevent a spill and now they are working on an earthen dike to prevent fuel from reaching the drainage system.”
A spokesman for freight carrier DHL said both pilots were safe, but one was undergoing a medical check as a precaution.
DHL spokesman Daniel McGrath said the company was working with airport authorities to relocate the aircraft so flights could resume. He said an investigation would be carried out to determine the cause of the incident.
DHL is a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group.
Luis Miranda, Costa Rica’s deputy director of civil aviation, said the plane only left about 35 miles from the airport when he asked for permission to turn back his flight scheduled for Guatemala City. He said the pilot and co-pilot were the only crew members on board the plane, which carried only about 2.5 hours of fuel. .
The airport authority said the crash will keep the airport closed to inbound and outbound flights until at least 6 p.m. Some flights are said to be diverted to Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, about 200 km northwest of San Jose.
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