22 Dec 2005

Parcels spew out of freight jet in Marshall Islands

11:09 am on 22 December 2005

Hundreds of pounds of US mail spewed out of a Boeing-727 as it was taking off from Majuro international airport in the Marshall Islands earlier today.

A cargo door on an Asia Pacific Airlines plane popped open, spilling boxes, letters and packages onto the runway, into people's backyards and

into the surrounding lagoon.

The mail, some of which was recovered, is from Hawaii and Guam only, with no outbound Majuro mail lost, according to Majuro airport officials.

Seconds after the plane lifted off from the runway in

Majuro, it began banking to the south and a trail of mail began descending from the plane.

According to the airport manager, Art Coburn, as soon as mail began pouring out of the fuselage, tower officials watching the takeoff radioed to the pilots, who immediately banked in the other direction to prevent more mail from falling out of the