It wasn’t a wolf’s huffing and puffing that led to the demise of a pig on the runway at the Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe last Tuesday. Nope, it was a MA60 60-seater attempting to take off. The wild bush pig may or may not have seen the Air Zimbabwe plane coming. But, come it did.
Poor pig. Poor plane. Poor passengers–and poor flight attendant who had to yell, “‘Evacuate!’” after the damaged plane ended up off the runway with dust and smoke filling the cabin.
That’s not the worst of it.
When the panicked passengers and crew tried to escape using the plane’s emergency exit doors, they couldn’t go out one of them. It was jammed. As if that wasn’t bad enough, once they managed to wrestle the plane’s main door open with a mighty effort, two passengers were hurt when they fell into a ditch as they scrambled away from the plane. Because this mishap happened at night, the ditch wasn’t easily visible in the dark.
There’s more. The emergency rescue team didn’t show up for five minutes after the crash because the secret police beat them to the plane. Instead of offering assistance, the police’s main concern was arresting two passengers who were taking pictures.
That’s not all. It took an hour for the 37 passengers to be given water and five hours for them to be allowed to leave the airport. Friends and relatives, who came to the airport after finding out about the accident via cell phone calls from people on the plane, were not told any details about what had happened or given access to the passengers.