Cow takes out cargo plane, delays relief flights
A chartered Boeing 737 cargo plane bringing much-needed relief supplies to tsunami-stricken Banda Aceh, Indonesia hit a stray cow on the runway, forcing officials to close the airport much of Tuesday until the plane could be moved, according to news reports. Helicopters continued to operate.
The freighter had just landed and was turning when its left engine and undercarriage hit the cow. The left side of the chartered TRI-MG Airlines jet collapsed, blocking the airstrip for about 15 hours, The Australian reported. The accident forced seven aircraft carrying 35 medical officers to postpone their trip from the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.
Specialized lift equipment had to be ferried in by helicopter from Singapore to remove the badly damaged jet, according to the newspaper.
The main airport, which is used to handling about three flights a day, is now the destination for dozens of flights per day carrying aid and volunteers. It is surrounded by fields and roads where cows and water buffalo range freely.