By Adekunle Williams and Solomon Asowata
Lagos (NAN) Hundreds of passengers on Thursday escaped death when their Dubai-bound Qatar Airways aircraft suddenly had a burst tyre while attempting to take off at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the incident occurred on the runway 18 Right of the airport around 3pm.
One of the passengers, who spoke to newsmen on condition of anonymity, said the Captain was already cleared for take off by the Air Traffic Controllers when they suddenly heard a loud sound.
According to her, this prompted the pilot to stop briefly before deciding to taxi the aircraft back to the terminal where it had earlier departed.
She said the frightened passengers resorted to prayers as the event was occurring.
“We were held in fear for some time. We thank God that the plane has not gathered the full speed for takeoff, we would have been saying something else,” the passenger said.
NAN gathered that the aircraft was later parked for repair at one of the hangers in the terminal while the airline management embarked on alternative arrangement for the affected travellers.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority proved abortive as calls and text messages to its spokesman were not responded to.