An Ethiopian Airlines 767 made an emergency landing at Arusha Airport Wednesday (December 18th), Tanzania’s The Citizen reported.
The plane skidded off the runway, which is not adequate for such a large aircraft. None of the 200 passengers and crew aboard was injured in the incident.
The plane took off from Addis Ababa and was believed to be headed to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) or another regional airport. The reason for the emergency landing was not immediately clear.
Bakari Murusuri, a senior official at Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company, could not confirm whether the aircraft was destined for KIA.
But Murusuri said he was puzzled by why the large aircraft landed in Arusha. “In case of such emergencies, the plane could have been diverted to Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar or Nairobi,” he said. “We have not seen such a thing before.”
“It probably landed here by mistake,” said Arusha Airport Manager Esther Dede. “The pilot was not supposed to land here because this is not an airport its size.”
Arusha Regional Commissioner Magesa Mulongo went to the airport to oversee the evacuation of passengers from the plane, which took hours in the absence of proper equipment for disembarking.
Arrangements are being made to transfer the passengers to KIA, since Arusha Airport does not have appropriate immigration and customs infrastructure.