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Kenya: Airport Closed After Accident
Nairobi , August 24, 2006 – A UN plane yesterday burst its two rear tires as it cruised on the runway, ready for take-off.
The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was then closed for more than an hour following the accident. Flights to JKIA were held in the air for the period, before being allowed to land.
Other planes that were set to take off were held on the ground until 9am when normal operations resumed.
Another aircraft belonging to Kenya Airways was diverted to Moi International Airport in Mombasa. It flew back afterwards.
"The plane veered off the runway, but the tail remained in the edge of the runway and it was closed for all landing and taking off," said Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) managing director George Muhoho.
The UN plane was carrying 20 relief workers and five crews to the Kilometer 50 Airstrip near Mogadishu in Somalia.
"There were no injuries to the passengers who were evacuated by a KAA bus to the terminal building," Mr. Muhoho said in a statement.
The accident happened about one and half kilometers into the four-kilometer runway. Flights started taking off after a joint team of officers from the Air Accident Investigations, the Kenya Civil Authority and KAA gave the green light.
Separately, police are investigating a night intrusion into KAA offices at the JKIA.
KAA security general manager Stanley Mutungi said computers were vandalized and hard discs, memories and processors taken away.
The thieves used duplicate keys to gain access into three offices; not a single door was damaged and the locks were intact. Among them were the human resource office, the information communication technology office as well as the engineer's office.
The theft was discovered on Tuesday morning.
But Mr. Mutungi said no vital information was lost. "Only normal daily transactions were contained there," he said.
He added that the intrusion was a normal theft. Mr. Mutungi suspected the thieves were interested in computer parts, not information.
"They wanted just the crucial parts, and I suspect they are for use in assembling other computers," he added.
Source: The Nation