Hundreds of passengers were stuck for 18 hours at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, Abuja, on Thursday following an air occurrence involving a Saudi Arabian cargo plane.

The Boeing 747 with registration K74798, landed at about 10:12pm on Wednesday, but veered off the runway into the upkeep locality, dragging with it a upkeep gear.

The development halted air travel operations at the airport until about 5pm on Thursday when the Ministry of Aviation issued a statement announcing the NAIA reopening.

Arik Air and Aero Contractors, had prior to broadcast, called off all their flights out of the NAIA.

The plane, which  was carring five armoured staff carriers bought by the Federal Government to help the crusade against Boko Haram insurgents, pulled the upkeep gear with one of its wings before stopping.

At the exodus terminal of the Abuja aerodrome, hundreds of passengers waited patiently but some subsequent became furious.

A traveller, who identified himself easily as Ismail, said, “This cargo plane got stuck since last(Wednesday) evening but not anything significant has occurred. Why is it taking this long to clear or tow it away?”

Another tourist, Mr. Uchechukwu Greg, recounted the development as “worrisome and annoying.”

He said, “Why is the aviation ministry doing this to travellers? Must they make us overtake through this pain often? With what has occurred, most of us have missed significant engagements.”

A older authorized of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Mohammed Tukur, recounted the development as a “shame on the sector.”

He said, “The Nigerian Civil Aviation administration and the Federal aerodromes administration of Nigeria know what they need to have in an airport like the one in Abuja to address challenging positions very quick.

“In a situation whereby you have an international airport and you will not provide amenities required during crises, then you are trashing your time.

“Instead of them buying things that are not crucial, they should look for the right gear for the smooth operation of the aerodrome. Our foremost aerodromes must have the right facilities to address emergencies.”

The Ministry of Aviation although said in another statement that the cargo airplane was effectively retrieved to the apron.

It said, “It took the blended crisis response efforts of the aviation bureaus like the NCAA and FAAN as well as Customs, the Security agencies and blaze Service staff to complete the feat in record time.”

The misfortune enquiry and Prevention Bureau, according to the declaration, had commenced investigations into the occurrence.

It supplemented that initial report would be released as soon as possible.

Ealier, the Special aide to the Aviation Minister on newspapers, Mr Joe Obi, had in another statement said no casualty was noted.

Obi added that agents of the AIPB, NCAA, FAAN and other applicable bureaus, had made initial assessment visit to the NAIA.

The declaration reads in part, “In the meantime, air travel into Abuja have been temporarily hovering to facilitate evacuation efforts to clear the runway.

“Normal operations will resume immediately the airplane is removed. While it should be documented that the occurrence is not a plane smash into, the Federal Ministry of Aviation laments all inconveniences this should have caused our esteemed air travellers and airport users.”

The hit although discovered that the plane was carrying five units of the newest joined States-made APCs organised by the government Government to aid the war against terrorists in the North-East.

Aviation causes close to the military told one of our correspondents that complicated armoured vehicles, though made in the US, were assembled in Dubai, joined Arab Emirates.

One of the aviation causes said the APCs were off-loaded round 6pm on Thursday and presented over to peak government agents and security bosses.

Boko Haram insurgents had on Monday assaulted the Composite assembly Air Force Base beside the Maiduguri worldwide aerodrome in Borno State

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