Bird forces Kulula flight’s emergency landing

2008-01-31 00:00

The emergency landing of a flight that was crippled after a bird flew into an engine went off without incident at midday yesterday.

Both the airline’s spokeswoman, Zelda Zvenyika, and Durban International Airport spokesman Colin Naidoo confirmed that flight MN702, which left for Cape Town just after 11 am, returned to Durban after a bird flew into one of its engines just after take-off.

The Boeing 737 circled the airport to burn excess fuel and then touched down safely at around midday.

The pilot shut down the engine and decided to bring the aircraft back to base, Naidoo said, adding that emergency procedures “kicked in” and ensured the safety of both passengers and the aircraft itself. The plane was carrying 130 passengers and six crew.

The greatest inconvenience was the massive delays. Elderly passengers and mothers with babies were accommodated on other flights shortly afterwards, while the rest of the passengers waited for a stand-by plane, Zvenyika said.

Naidoo said bird strikes are rare and he could not remember when another incident of this nature had taken place. He said that Durban International Airport is proactive in that it has a bird-avoidance programme, with a team of border collie dogs on site that patrol the aprons and runways to scare off birds.

Woman sets grim, fiery trap for boyfriend

A 27-year-old Durban woman, who allegedly set her boyfriend alight and then locked him in a toilet at the weekend, is expected to appear at the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court today for murder, police said.

It is alleged that the woman set a deadly trap for her boyfriend on Sunday at their Clermont home, after a domestic argument.

“She gave him a laxative then allegedly poured paraffin into the toilet pan,” said Captain Bongani Khomo.

When the man went and sat on the toilet, the woman allegedly came in, set the paraffin alight and then locked the burning man inside.

The 28-year-old man suffered severe burns and later died at a nearby clinic.

Police traced the woman to Umlazi, where she was arrested.

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