Air France jet hits Brazzaville building

An Air France Airbus A330 hit a building just after landing in Congo’s capital Brazzaville and was banned from taking off with any passengers, Civil Aviation Minister Emile Ouosso said on Thursday.

The incident occurred on Wednesday night at Brazzaville’s Maya-Maya airport. ”While the plane was manoeuvring on the tarmac, just after landing, the tip of its right wing brushed a building,” Ouosso said.

”Several dozen people were on board the plane,” but nobody was hurt, he added.

”Air France officials reassured me that technically the plane could fly without any problem. But by precaution and as a security measure, we grounded it. The plane must return to France without any passengers,” the minister said.

Some of those who had been due to fly to Paris on the Airbus on Thursday took another flight via Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, while others will wait for an airliner due on Friday, Ouosso said.

Air France officials in Brazzaville could not immediately be reached for comment on the incident. The company is one of the big Western ones flying to the Republic of Congo, wih four weekly flights including three direct ones between Paris and Brazzaville. — Sapa-AFP

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