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Zambia launches investigation after plane lands on unfinished runway



Zambian authorities on Tuesday opened an investigation after an Ethiopian Boeing 737 mistakenly landed at an airport that is still under construction.

To the surprise of the construction workers at the Copperbelt airport in the town of Ndola, the twin-engine cargo jet touched down on the unfinished runway on Sunday.

Moments later, another Ethiopian Boeing 737 was also preparing to land there.

Another Ethiopian Airlines plane, an airliner, actually almost landed at the same airport under construction a few hours later, but circled around after the pilot realized that oh no, it’s a bad airport, ”Zambian Transport Minister Misheck Lungu said on Tuesday.

The minister added that he had ordered an investigation into the incident.

According to initial findings, a pilot error has not been ruled out.

Copperbelt Airport is a major airport project by Zambia and China and construction is nearing completion.

Nearby Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport is still operating.

Runways under construction or under repair are usually visually marked as closed with a large white “X”.

However, it remained unclear how clearly this marking was still visible from the air.


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