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A DHL Cargo Plane Breaks in Two Landing at a Costa Rica Airport


An airport near Costa Rica’s capital was temporarily closed Thursday after a DHL cargo plane split in two during an emergency landing, officials said. No one was injured.

The plane, a bright yellow B757-200F airliner about 155 feet long, was headed to Guatemala when it was forced to return to Juan Santamaria International Airport, northwest of San Jose.

The pilot and first officer on the plane, which was carrying freight to Guatemala City, reported a “hydraulic issue” shortly after takeoff and had to land, Daniel McGrath, a DHL spokesman, said on Friday.

Video of the landing circulating on social media showed the plane skidding off the runway. Smoke was seen billowing from it after it came to a stop, and emergency vehicles rushed to the scene.

The plane “sustained damage” upon landing, Claus Korfmacher, a spokesman for DHL, a package delivery company based in Germany, said in a statement on Friday.

More than two dozen flights were either canceled or delayed at Juan Santamaria International Airport on Thursday, according to FlightAware, a website that tracks air travel.

Aeris, which manages the airport, said in a short statement on Thursday that flights would resume by 3:30 p.m. local time and that it had worked quickly with the authorities to address that morning’s “emergency.”

Images showed the nose of the plane perched upon a hill and a deep separation near the tail, exposing the cargo and interior. One of the plane’s wings also appeared to be damaged. Other images widely circulated on social media showed firefighters spraying sections of the plane with foam.

While no injuries were reported, one crew member did undergo medical checks as a precaution, Mr. Korfmacher said, adding that the company was coordinating with the authorities to remove the plane from the area near the runway.

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


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