A small plane carrying 16 Al Jazeera broadcast staff to a World Cup game had to make an emergency landing near Johannesburg yesterday after the aircraft’s landing gear jammed, a company executive said.
The wheels failed to come down as the plane approached the northern city of Polokwane, where Algeria were playing Slovenia, and the pilot turned back to an airport in the Johannesburg area to make an emergency landing.
“No one was hurt but they were shocked,” said Nasser G. Al Khelaifi, managing director of Al Jazeera Sport.
“They came back here because the facilities in the airport they left from are better.
“We had to cancel everything, but luckily our reporter left yesterday by car,” he said, adding that the pilot had to keep the plane in the air for three hours to run down its fuel supplies before landing.
A spokesperson for Lanseria airport, which lies about 30 km (19 miles) from Johannesburg, said the plane landed at about 11 a.m. (0900 GMT).
Lanseria International Airport is privately owned and used mainly by executive travellers and for chartered flights.