Garowe Online (Garowe)

20 April 2014

Somalia - Khat Plane Veers Off Runway in Central Town

Guri'el — A plane loaded with the narcotic leaves of khat ran off runway at Guriel airstrip in central Somalia, with witnesses confirming that two crew members and the pilot on-board escaped unhurt on Sunday morning, Garowe Online reports.

They mayor of Galgaduud regional district of Guri'el Osman Isse Taar Dhuled told reporters that the plane mishap occurred shortly after the pilot drove it towards the gravel runway.

"The Khat plane was chartered by Somali businessmen and women from Nairobi, it every morning arrives at Guri'el airstrip but the pilot today mistook the previous [gravel runway] for unauthorized one and the plane immediately veered off the runway," said Taar Dhuled.

He noted, although the pilot was able to make stop at a vicinity situated 300m from the airstrip, the khat was off loaded from the aircraft.

Somalia's aviation sector suffered major setback for last twenty years of civil unrest, with poor safety of aircrafts coupled with largely unpaved and earth runways triggering irregular plane accidents.

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