If you’ve ever seen a lava flow, you know that once the stuff cools and hardens, it’s hard to move. In the Congo, this has created a big problem at the airport in Goma. Back in 2002, when the Nyiragongo Volcano erupted, lava flowed onto the runway, thus shortening it. A shorter runway does not sound good. It’s not.
Today, this was proved true once more when an airplane flying from Kinshasa to Goma overshot the runway and landed on the lava instead. Ouch! According to the report, 20 people out of the 117 on board were injured.
This is not the first time that lava has created issues at the Goma airport. The last time was in 2007 when a cargo plane caught on fire after it hit the lava. This incidence caused 7 deaths.
As unusual as it is to hit lava on a runway, it’s probably more unusual for a plane to hit a bush pig. The plane hits a bush pig incident happened a week ago on in Zimbabwe. When this pig made it’s last oink, high drama ensued which included a couple of injuries that were caused when passengers fell into a ditch at the side of the runway.
As for the lava on the runway woes, hopefully this latest incident in Goma will help provide incentive to remove the rest of it.
When it comes to bush pigs on runways, pilots in Zimbabwe–and I guess elsewhere where bush pigs roam–are probably keeping their eyes on the lookout.
The photo taken by Julien Harneis from a helicopter shows the lava flow around Goma.