Qatar Airways flight lands safely after emergency
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Nigeria landed safely Saturday after the pilot discovered a problem with the aircraft's landing gear, authorities said.
The Airbus 330 aircraft, carrying 148 passengers and 14 crew members, landed in Lagos just after 1 p.m. local time (1200 GMT) with no one onboard sustaining any injuries, state emergency management director Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said.
Qatar Airways said the flight's pilot noticed one of the 10 tires on the aircraft had a low pressure after taking off from Doha early Saturday morning. The airline said the pilot did not declare an emergency over the tire, though local officials said the pilot had. Firefighting equipment and emergency workers stood by for the aircraft's landing at Lagos' Murtala Muhammed International Airport, said Harold Demuren, director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
Images of the aircraft after its landing showed the tire had peeled away from the landing gear. Those onboard later said they had no idea the flight had any problem until after it landed.
Foreign carriers flying into Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, have had troubles before, including arriving at airports and finding their runway lights out. In one case involving an Air France flight in 2005, an airplane tore through a herd of cattle that somehow found its way onto a runway at Port Harcourt's international airport.
Local air carriers in Nigeria remain plagued by funding problems and allegations of corruption in the country. In June, a Dana Air flight from Abuja to Lagos crashed just before landing, killing more than 160 people. Recently, the nation's top carrier, Arik Air Ltd., suspended flights over what it claimed was government interference and corruption by the nation's aviation minister. The airline has resumed its flights.
Jon Gambrell can be reached at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP .