More than 24,000 Passengers Stranded as Nepal's Tribhuvan Airport Remains Closed
Photo via Kathmandu Post on Twitter
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepals' only international airport, remains shut down days after a Turkish Airlines plane overshot the tarmac, blocking the airport's only runway.
According to CNN, airport officials are working to remove the Airbus A330, and plan to reopen the airport, which is located in the capital of Kathmandu, at 10 a.m. local time on Saturday (11 p.m. ET Friday).
However, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal manager Purna Chudal told CNN that they "do not know now if it will take longer than then to move the plane."
Considering the country's aviation authority has already rescheduled the reopening of the airport twice, it remains to be seen whether the airport will be back in operation to start the weekend.
Since the incident occurred on Wednesday, more then 160 flights have been canceled resulting in more than 24,000 passengers being stranded at Tribhuvan. Serving roughly 80 international flights daily, Tribhuvan handles more than 12,000 passengers on an average day.
Here's a look at the current situation at Tribhuvan via the Kathmandu Post on Twitter:
Fortunately, no injuries were reported onboard when the plane skidded off the tarmac.
So far, workers have been able to lift the nose of the plane and replace its tires. The focus is now on digging into the grass underneath the plane and unloading gravel so that the aircraft can gain traction and be pushed back onto the tarmac.
Workers were shorthanded immediately after the incident, but experts and removal equipment arrived on Thursday.
Tribhuvan airport typically closes between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., but will remain open for operation for 24 hours over the next few days in order to clear the backlog.
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