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A Boeing 757-200 cargo plane operated by DHL made a dramatic emergency landing at Juan Santamaria International Airport in Costa Rica, skidded off the runway and split in two, losing its tail.

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

Footage from Costa Rican newspaper La Nacion showed a yellow plane emblazoned with the DHL logo covered in fire-fighting foam where it landed on a grassy field next to a runway. The tail had detached and a wing had broken, the photos show it.

The plane was bound for Guatemala when it apparently had a hydraulic system failure, 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.

DHL cargo plane splits in two after crash landing at Costa Rica airport |  Costa Rica
The DHL cargo plane after the emergency landing. Photograph: Ezequiel Becerra/AFP/Getty Images

A spokesperson for Boeing Co said it would refer questions to investigating authorities. DHL and airport authorities said they were working together to move the plane, although they said it would not affect 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 the capital San Jose, reopened at 3:30 p.m. 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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