Philippine aviation authorities on Friday decided to close the runway in Manila airport where a passenger plane skidded off late on Thursday. All passengers and crew are safe.

Twelve flights have been cancelled, while many have been diverted to other airports following the Xiamen Airline flight’s “runway excursion”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Early on Friday, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), which operates the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) issued a joint statement.

It said the Boeing 737-800 plane swerved off the runway and onto the grass at the airport after a “missed approach” due to “heavy downpour” at 11.55 p.m. on Thursday.

There is need to clear the runway of debris from the damaged engine and landing gear of the plane as such the operations were temporarily suspended.

An investigation has been ordered.