A China Eastern Airlines plane from Nanjing veered off the runway after landing safely amid a heavy rainstorm at Hong Kong International Airport on Wednesday morning.
At 10.48am, flight MU765 veered onto the grass almost at the end of the runway, RTHK reported. The Hong Kong Airport Authority, which confirmed the accident, said all 141 passengers and crew members were safe.
Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam Man-ho, a former pilot, said in a media briefing that it was a serious incident as the plane had veered off the runway.
Tam said the plane had lingered on the runway for some time after landing and was ordered by the air traffic control to turn left and leave because another plane was landing. However, it turned right, veered off the runway and stopped on the grass.
Tam said the incident may not be related to the bad weather, but it could involve human error. He said the airport authority should disclose more information to the public.
Ngai Chung-leung, a Hong Kong netizen, said in a Facebook post that the MU765 pilot had told air traffic control that he lost control of the plane just before the incident.
Due to the temporary closure of the north runway, many flights were cancelled or delayed with hundreds of passengers waiting at the airport. About six flights had to land in Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Taipei for landing.
At 9.30am, the Hong Kong Observatory issued a red rainstorm warning signal, which means heavy rainfall exceeding 50mm per hour. At 11.30am, it issued a black rainstorm warning signal, meaning heavy rainfall of more than 70mm per hour.