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PAL jet engines suck in 10 wild ducks in Tacloban; flight canceled

By: - Correspondent / @joeygabietaINQ
/ 03:27 PM August 29, 2012

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—Around 100 passengers of a Philippine Airlines flight bound for Manila were stranded here Wednesday after the plane they were scheduled to take was grounded at the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport for a safety check after its jet engines sucked in at least 10 wild ducks on landing.

The Airbus 320 commercial plane was coming in for a landing at around 6:45 a.m. when at least 10 wild ducks were sucked into its engines, airport officials said. The wild migratory birds had come from a swamp near the airport.

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“I don’t have any idea where they came from but it is during this month until November that they flock here,” said Antonio Alfonso, area manager of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

Alfonso said he did not allow the plane to leave for Manila until mechanics could check the engines to ensure the safety of the passengers.

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With the grounding of the 7:15 a.m. flight to Manila, around 100 passengers were asked to take two other PAL flights out of Tacloban—one in the morning and another in the afternoon— although only a few passengers could be accommodated on each.  The other flights from Tacloban to Manila on Wednesday were one by Airphil Express and two by Cebu Pacific.

Fr. Oscar Cadayona, one of the stranded passengers, said that while he would be late for his appointment in Manila due to the incident, he would not take it against the airline’s management.

“It’s an incident. Nobody wanted it to happen. Anyway, it’s for our safety,” Cadayona said.

Another passenger, Debbie Mandigma, could not contain her frustration, however.

“They told us to wait because we will be rebooked for the next flight. But we don’t have any idea what exact time,” Mandigma said.

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