Storm-hit Air France plane turns back to Rio

2013-11-14 09:14

Rio de Janeiro - A violent hailstorm forced a Paris-bound Air France Boeing 747 to turn back to Rio shortly after take off, officials said Wednesday.

"We had the impression the cabin was being strafed with hailstones and there was violent turbulence. I was scared to death," Benjamin Cano, travelling in business class, told AFP by telephone following the mid-air drama late Tuesday.

In a statement, Air France said the captain had elected to head back to Rio after the hailstones damaged a windshield.

"The flight was cancelled and the passengers transferred onto later flights," the carrier added.

The incident comes four years after an Air France Airbus 330 traveling from Rio to Paris crashed off the coast of Brazil, killing all 228 people on board.

Passengers on Tuesday's flight said signs of damage caused by the hailstones were clearly visible.

"When we got off we saw the impacts on the whole cabin -- there were three huge ones on the windscreen," said Rio-based hotel owner Cano.

"The pilot just told us to stay with our seat belts attached. I don't know how long it lasted -- three or four minutes. Far too long. Then, the pilot told us we were heading back to Rio.

"The crew were very professional, going round checking on everyone," added Cano, though he added he had doubts whether to board given the poor weather conditions and felt the flight should possibly have not taken off in the first place.

Rio sweltered in temperatures topping 40 Celsius Tuesday before heavy evening storms hit.

cdo/hdz/cw/rcw

Read more on:    air france  |  flights  |  air travel  |  travel international

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel

 
/News

#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.