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Turkish Airline airlifts 266 passengers after passengers’ face-off


Turkish Airlines / AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ

Turkish Airlines on Tuesday night airlifted 266 Lagos passengers who had their flight cancelled on Monday after faulty onboard cooling system and attendant face-off between travellers and crew.

The development forced the flight to be cancelled, with subsequent claims that some passengers fainted onboard. The airline, however, confirmed on Wednesday that the passengers had landed safely in Turkey.

An eyewitness, Eniola, explained that the air-conditioning issue occurred when the passengers started boarding the aircraft TK626 on Monday. Following the fault, the airline notified the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO), which also collaborated with them to resolve it on time, “but some passengers started behaving funny, almost attacking the crew, as if what happened was a technical issue.

“It was just a matter of asking them to come out of the plane for the crew to restart the engine. However, all entreaties made by the crew members to explain the situation to them were rejected as many of the passengers turned unruly.

“Assuming they had listened while trying to explain things to them on time, they would have been airlifted to Turkey that night,” Eniola said. The Guardian learnt that the passengers were, however, lodged at the Golden Tulip hotel, Apapa, on Monday prior to takeoff on Tuesday.

The airline disclaimed online reports that many passengers fainted as a result of the faulty cooling system, adding that the only woman who needed help due to fatigue and dizziness requested for medical attention from the crew and the nurses at Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

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