A routine domestic flight almost ended in disaster on Tuesday when a jet carrying more than 100 passengers broke apart on landing in Indonesia, injuring about 20 people, said officials.

The Merpati airline Boeing 737 bounced off the tarmac at Rendani domestic airport in Manokwari, West Papua, hurtled into trees and skidded into a shallow river, an official told AFP.

“All the passengers were in a total panic, some even screamed and cried,” said a passenger who crawled out of a crack in the fuselage and was being treated for facial injuries.

“We flew safely and the plane touched down smoothly on the runway but it just didn't stop. It skidded very fast and I felt it hit something twice before it stopped and tumbled down. I got out through a crack in the plane near my seat.”

An official said the plane came to a halt with its tail section in the river about 200 metres from the end of the landing strip. Heavy rain and fog were suspected of playing a part in the crash.

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