• Kyodo

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Two people were seriously injured Sunday evening when their single-engine private plane slammed into a concrete wall after it went off the runway while landing at Kitakyushu Airport.

One of the injured was a 47-year-old public official from Kitakyushu. The other man, described as being in his 50s, is also from Fukuoka Prefecture, the police said.

The airport’s runways were shut down for nearly three hours and some flights had to be canceled.

The Transport Safety Board said it was sending three investigators to the airport to probe the cause of the accident.

According to the airport office, the plane left Yamaguchi Ube Airport in Yamaguchi Prefecture at 5 p.m. Sunday. The crash at Kitakyushu damaged its engine and trapped the two men inside the aircraft. They were eventually freed by firefighters.

Following the accident, a long line of travelers formed at the airport check-in counter as they waited to change their flights or get refunds for their tickets.

“It looks like I can’t go to work tomorrow,” said Hideyuki Eto, a 50-year-old businessman who had planned to return home to Chiba Prefecture from Kitakyushu, where his parents live.

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