Mecca bound plane carrying several Cameroonians grounded after explosion

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Flag of Cameroon
Flag of Cameroon

A plane carrying about 300 Cameroonian pilgrims has been grounded at the Garoua International Airport in northern Cameroon after an explosion was heard in its landing gear as it taxied to take off. The incident occurred on Monday night during take-off of a Nigerian air transport company, Air Niamey, plane chartered by the Cameroonian National Commission on Hajj to transport pilgrims to Mecca, eyewitnesses said. “The explosion was so loud that the passengers in the plane, who were all pilgrims bound for Mecca, panicked,” Aladji Ahmadou, who was among pilgrims on the flight, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. He said the explosion was followed by fire, but the flames were quickly put off by firemen of the airport. There were no reported casualties. Eyewitnesses also said the plane, which had a seating capacity of 270 passengers, was carrying about 300 pilgrims. The organisers of the Hajj are working around the clock to airlift some 1,100 pilgrims stranded at the Garoua international airport to Mecca before the air space in Saudi Arabia is closed to pilgrims. The plane had since 15 November made two fights to Mecca before Monday night’s incident.

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