WATCH: DHL Cargo Plane Breaks in Half After Making Emergency Landing in Costa Rica

by Samantha Whidden

On Thursday (April 7th) a DHL cargo plane reportedly breaks in half after it made an emergency landing at San Jose’s international airport in Costa Rica.

At a Glance

  • A DHL cargo plane slide off the runway and broke in half while landing at San Jose’s international airport
  • The aircraft took off from Juan Santamaría Airport but made a return after detecting hydraulic system failure
  • Both the pilot and co-pilot of the DHL cargo plane are doing well following the incident, they were sent to the hospital for evaluation for any injuries
  • The incident shut down the entire airport

According to CBS News, the DHL cargo plane originally took off from Juan Santamaría Airport. However, after detecting hydraulic system failure, the aircraft’s pilots decided to turn around.  A new dramatic video shows the plane breaking in half as it made its landing. It also sparked a dark plume of smoke. 

Luckily, both the pilot and co-pilot of the DHL cargo plane managed to escape the situation unharmed. They were eventually sent to a local hospital for evaluation. Héctor Chaves, Director of the Costa Rica Fire Department, explained cargo was exposed following the DHL cargo plane breaking in two. “Units mobilized to remove the pilot and co-pilot. Then they applied foam to prevent a spill. And now they are working on an earthen dike. To avoid any fuel from reaching the drainage system.”

Vasquez also states that the pilot was shaken up. But both crew members were conscious and remember everything vividly. DHL spokesman Daniel McGraw stated at the time that the international company was working with airplane authorities to assist in moving the plane from the runway so that flights at the airport were able to resume. He further reveals that an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident. 

The DHL Cargo Plane Traveled 35 Miles Before Making the Emergency Landing and Breaking In Half 

Luis Miranda, Deputy Director of Civil Aviation for Costa Rica, also revealed that the DHL cargo plane had only traveled about 35 miles from the airport before it requested permission to turn around. It was planning to travel to Guatemala City. Miranda further explained that the pilot and co-pilot were the only crew members on board the plane. The aircraft only carried about 2.5 hours’ worth of fuel. 

Following the DHL cargo plane incident, the San Jose international airport was shut down until the evening. This closure impacted hundreds of flights and more than 8,000 passengers. Flights at the airport resumed after 5:30 p.m. Richardo Hernandez, General Manager of Aeries, the company that manages the airport spoke about the situation. He said everything is back to normal in regards to arrivals and departures.