Ethiopian Airliner Hits Swarm Of Locusts, Landing Delayed For Over Half An Hour

The Ethipian plane that hit a swarm of locust [Photo/Courtesy]

In Kenya, the word locust has in the recent days been received with fear as the insects wreak havoc in a number of counties in the country.

The locust menace has not only been felt in Kenya but in other countries.

On Thursday, January 9, a plane operated by Ethiopian Airline hit a swarm of locusts consequently delaying landing for more than half an hour.

Reports indicate that the Boeing 737, registration number ET-ALN, was flying from Djibouti to Dire Dawa, Ethiopia when it hit the swarm of locusts.

Some locusts were trapped in the engine and others hit the windshield which impacted and reduced visibility from the cockpit window.

Read: Millions of Locusts Invade Noth Hor, Paralyse Activities (Photos)

Attempts by the pilot to clean the window with wipers proved futile.

He tried to land twice at Dire Dawa without success before the plane was diverted to Addis Ababa where it landed 38 minutes later.

After thorough inspection at the airport, engineers declared the plane fit to fly the following day as they did not find any damage on the engine.

Kenya and Ethiopia are some of the countries in East Africa that have had to deal with the destructive insects for the past few days. Uganda and Somalia are said to be facing a similar outbreak.

Read Also: Ethiopian Man Jailed For Making “Bomb Joke” Aboard KQ Jo’burg Bound Flight

In Kenya, the insects have invaded several counties with the latest one being Kirinyaga.

Other counties that have been affected include Meru, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit and Garissa.

The insects pose a threat to food production as they attack crops and vegetation.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri on Friday announced that the government had dispatched aircraft in the affected areas to spray the desert locusts.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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