Plane skids off Hong Kong runway in heavy rain

Heavy rain led to a China Eastern Airlines flight skidding off the runway at Hong Kong airport on May 24, 2017.
Heavy rain led to a China Eastern Airlines flight skidding off the runway at Hong Kong airport on May 24, 2017.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

HONG KONG (AFP) - A plane veered off the runway at Hong Kong airport on Wednesday (May 24) after heavy rain lashed the area, forcing the temporary closure of the airstrip and delaying scores of flights.

The China Eastern Airlines flight from Nanjing, which had 141 people on board, skidded onto a grass area as it was taxiing to the gate, Hong Kong's Airport Authority said.

Two passengers reported feeling unwell and were sent to hospital, the authority said.

The runway - one of two at the airport - was temporarily shuttered, delaying 109 flights, both incoming and outgoing, the authority said, with local media reporting heavy stacking over the storm-soaked city.

Hong Kong, a major transport hub for Asia, issued this year's first "black rainstorm warning" - the highest of three heavy rain signals - before midday Wednesday, which saw several schools closed for the afternoon.

Around 150mm of rain has been recorded at the airport since early Wednesday, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.