Ethiopian Airlines jet makes emergency landing in Chad

NDJAMENA (AFP) — An Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet which made an emergency landing in Chad due to a radar problem took off again today, but 120 of its 150 passengers refused to board, airport authorities said.

The plane, a Boeing 737 en route from Dakar in Senegal to Addis Ababa via Bamako in Mali, “left this morning at 5:00 am (0400 GMT),” said an airport official, as well as airport police.

The incident comes days after another Ethiopian Airlines 737 with 90 people on board crashed into the Mediterranean minutes after takeoff from Beirut during a raging thunderstorm on Monday. There were no survivors.

Of the 150 passengers on the African flight, “120 refused to leave on the Boeing,” an airport official said. “They have been put up in different hotels. A large plane will come to collect them.”

Contacted by AFP, an Ethiopian Airlines spokesman in Ndjemena declined to comment and said that an “information office” had been opened by the company in Addis Ababa.

On Thursday, the Boeing 737 “circled around N’Djamena for one hour before making an emergency call. There was a radar problem, so it landed,” an airport official said.

An airport source said the plane, which had made a stopover in Bamako, Mali, was dumping its fuel before landing.

The same plane had already experienced electrical troubles when leaving Dakar earlier Thursday, and had had to return, passengers said.