Chek Lap Kok's south runway could reopen as early as this evening after the wreckage of the China Airlines plane, which crashed on Sunday, is removed. Engineers started removing the aircraft yesterday, as other workers repaired the 43 lights and 2,000-square-metre surface of the damaged runway. Marks measuring a total of more than 700 metres can be seen on the 3,800-metre runway. They are believed to have been left by the right wing, which hit the ground as the aircraft came into land during Typhoon Sam. The plane burst into flames and overturned. Two people were killed and more than 200 hurt. Airport Authority chief executive Billy Lam Chung-lun said the wreckage was likely to be handled in one piece by using trolleys to move it to a vacant site two kilometres away. But he said the removal work had been complicated by the plane being belly up. The tail and left wing of the aircraft were cut off before the removal operation started late yesterday afternoon. Straps were placed through the plane's windows and attached to three trolleys. Mr Lam said the aircraft would have to be cut into three sections if it looked likely to disintegrate once it had been lifted. At 1am, movers had lifted the wreckage off the ground and put it on the trolleys. The airline will be asked to pay for the runway repairs, removal of the aircraft - which is believed to run into millions of dollars - and compensation for the victims. Police compiling the death reports on the two victims urged anyone who might have witnessed the crash or photographed or videotaped it to contact them at 2631 8415 or 2527 7177.