Sunday, 30 September 2012

248 passengers escape death in Qatar Airways plane emergency landing in Lagos

There was tension in the aviation industry yesterday amid speculation that there was an incident involving a Qatar Airways Airbus 332 with 284 passengers onboard on its way to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos from Doha, the capital of Qatar, as it made an emergency landing due to a flat tyre.

The pilot of the Airbus A330-200 plane had sent a distress call to air traffic controllers on duty at the airport, telling them that one of his tyres had low pressure.

The aircraft carrying 248 passengers touched down on runway 18R of the airport at about 1:15pm with a burst tyre.

Scores of fire fighters from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Lagos State Fire Service and the Federal Fire Service had been mobilised to the airport.

Rescue workers from the National Emergency Management Agency, Julius Berger among others had also been waiting for the distressed aircraft.

A few minutes after the aircraft made the landed, it was towed to the parking bay of the international wing of the airport.

The panic-stricken passengers were however, unwilling to speak to journalists.

The Information Officer, NEMA, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, who led the emergency process on behalf of the agency, told reporters that the agency had received a distress call from airport authorities as early as 10am.

Farinloye added that the aircraft was said to have had a tyre burst on the rear side of the aircraft, a situation that required emergency landing.

He said the agency consequently mobilised and coordinated an emergency landing which included several agencies such as the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Civil Defence Corps.
He noted that the aircraft landed safely.

The Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren, said the pilot took precautionary steps to land the aircraft the way he did.

He confirmed that the aircraft had low pressure in one of the tyres.

An official of Qatar Airways in Lagos said the airline had no official reaction to the development since the aircraft landed safely

Source: Online Nigeria

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