Palermo airport stays closed until removal of jet that landed off runway

ROME (AP) — Officials say Palermo's airport will stay closed until at least Sunday afternoon while awaiting equipment to remove a jet that landed off a runway.

Loredana Rosati, a spokeswoman for Italy's civil aviation authority, said the Wind Jet aircraft landed on the tarmac between the two runways Friday night.

Passengers on the Rome-to-Palermo flight by the Italy-based, low-cost airline were evacuated down emergency chutes, and several had minor injuries.

Alitalia canceled some Sicilian flights but diverted most others to Trapani or Catania.

Why the Airbus 300 missed the runway is under investigation.

Takeoffs and landings at the airport are considered difficult because the runways are wedged between the Mediterranean sea and steep mountain slopes.