MILAN: A DHL cargo plane skidded off a runway at Bergamo’s Orio al Serio airport early Friday, its nose busting through a perimeter fence and onto a provincial highway. Officials said no one was injured.
The airport near Milan, a hub for low-cost airlines and cargo traffic, was closed for about 2 ½ hours, forcing the cancellation of 15 flights and creating delays during the busy summer travel period. Some flights were rerouted to Milan’s Malpensa airport.
Television images showed the plane’s nose partially blocking a roadway, flanked by emergency vehicles, while a crane was moved into position to remove it.
Italian aviation officials said the Boeing 737-400 overshot the runway on landing from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport just after 4 a.m. The pilot and first officer were not injured. The cause was under investigation.
A witness, who lives 300 meters (yards) from the airport and was on his balcony at the time, said a few cars were driving along the road that runs next to the airport, but managed to stop in time.
“It could have been a tragedy,” Ezio Carissoni was quoted by the news agency ANSA as saying.
He also praised the pilot for maintaining a straight line and avoiding a full parking lot.
The Bergamo airport is Italy’s third-busiest, with over 10 million passengers last year.