JUBA AIRPORT RUNWAY CLOSED AFTER AIRCRAFT SUFFERS NOSEGEAR COLLAPSE
(Posted 19th December 2013)
(Picture courtesy of Mr. Ajak Mayol, Juba)
Evacuation flights from Juba to Entebbe, Nairobi and other East African destinations came to a halt when the nosegear of a Boeing B737-500 collapsed on landing, blocking the single runway of Juba International Airport.
From information at hand the plane is registered as ST-NVG and belongs to Nova Airways, is 15 years old and entered service first in January 1998. The flight originated in Khartoum, the capital of The Sudan and no injuries to passengers or crew are reported at this time.
All flights enroute to Juba were advised by Air Traffic Control that the airport was presently unserviceable with the runway blocked, and as Juba can only operate in daylight, the remaining time today will cause hundreds of foreigners seeking to leave by air to remain in Juba another night.
It is presently unclear when the runway will be cleared and the stricken aircraft towed away, but one source at the airport has indicated that it may take a while and did not expect any further flight movements.
Aircraft on the ground, ready to leave, are also stuck at Juba and passengers and crew will have to spend very likely the night there until operations can resume tomorrow.
This incident comes hot on the heels of the incident at Arusha’s municipal airport yesterday, when a B767-300ER of Ethiopian Airlines landed at an airport patently unsuited to accommodate large jet aircraft and that airport too remains closed for operations.
One passenger, regularly reading this blog and based in Juba, expressed her dismay over being unable to leave after securing a seat on an outbound flight later this afternoon and shared her concern for the safety of all those passengers now at the airport. Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from Eastern Africa.
Update at 16.20 hrs EAT
The runway has been cleared, the plane been towed away and flight operations have reportedly resumed.