Minutes after the Pope's plane left for Manila today, a jet carrying 11 people, including Philippine Cabinet members, overshot the runway at Tacloban because of a storm.

Eight passengers were evacuated, four of whom were brought to hospital, a police official said.

Authorities closed the airport.

Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, a Leyte official who was on board the plane, told local media he heard a tire explode before the aircraft skidded along the wet runway.

An official from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said tail winds sent the Bombardier plane heading to the tarmac's grassy area.

Pope Francis cut short his visit to Leyte province by four hours due to tropical storm Mekkhala, to hit the region today, with wind gusts of up to 130 km/h.

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