Philippine airliner with 250 aboard makes emergency landing

MANILA: A Philippine Airlines plane carrying more than 250 people has made an emergency landing in Manila shortly after takeoff on a domestic flight due to suspected smoke in the cockpit.

Eric Apolonio of the Civil Aviation Authority says the Airbus A340 aircraft was airborne for 10 minutes when its pilot declared an emergency Saturday and requested to land back in Manila. After the plane landed safely and the passengers disembarked, Manila airport firefighters began checking the aircraft.

A Filipino journalist onboard, Nestor Abrematea, says he and other passengers smelled smoke but did not see any in the cabin, adding many got scared but did not panic when the pilot announced that the plane bound for central Cebu province would head back to the Manila airport for safety reasons.