Plane veers off runway, airport closed

A cargo plane that made an emergency landing at Owen Roberts International Airport early Tuesday afternoon apparently veered off the runway into the grass, forcing the airport to shut down.

There were two people and about 4,000 pounds of fuel on board the craft, an IFL-Group twin prop which is contracted to transport cargo by Cayman Airways.

According to airports security chief Shane Bothwell, there was no damage to the craft and no injuries to either person on board.

Officials were uncertain what caused the craft to swerve off the runway after making its landing, but investigators from the Cayman Islands Airports Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority were headed to the scene to make a determination. 

At least two flights due to arrive at Owen Roberts Tuesday afternoon were diverted to other airports or redirected awaiting further instruction.

The Delta Airlines flight #687, due to land at 3:30 p.m., was diverted. American Airlines flight #1552 due to land at 4:03 p.m. was redirected, which means it may be able to land at Owen Roberts later.

Another American Airlines/US Air flight – #1541 – which was due to have left Miami for Grand Cayman at 2:10 p.m. was cancelled, although it was not clear whether that was related to the Owen Roberts airport shut down.

In addition to those flights, Cayman Airways scheduled flights for the remainder of Tuesday were expected to be delayed for several hours. According to the airline, affected flights include: KX882, KX883, KX832, KX833, KX106, KX107 and CAL Express flights KX4524, KX4525 and KX4516. 

Passengers affected by the delays are asked to contact Cayman Airways reservations at 949-2311 or visit www.caymanairways.com for more information.

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