Ecuador Police Blocks Airport Runway to Stop Planes From Landing

Ecuador Police Blocks Airport Runway to Stop Planes From Landing

Police in Ecuador have blockaded a major runway to stop foreign planes from landing after international flights were banned.

Hundreds of emergency service workers were parked on the strip at Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International airport – the second biggest in the country.

Guayaquil city mayor Cynthia Viteri reportedly ordered officers on to the tarmac to stop planes from Europe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Footage shows dozens of security vehicles on the runway, making it impossible for aircraft to land.

The move was understood to have been taken to stop an Iberia Airbus A340 travelling from Madrid and a KLM Boeing 777 from Amsterdam.

But local media claimed the planes landed in Quito with just crew members on-board.

They had reportedly been sent to Ecuador to pick up their citizens in the country to take them home.

Prosecutors are believed to be investigating the incident, with the Ministry of Transport and Public Works blasting the Guayaquil City Council for clamping down on air travel.

Up to 170 passengers reportedly boarded the KLM plane in Quito but it is unclear if the two flights have returned to Europe.

Mayor Viteri, who is part of the conservative Social Christian Party party, claimed responsibility for the incident.

She said she would do it again to protect the city from the arrival of people who may have caught coronavirus.

The politician claimed the planes had been about to land in the city and the crew members were scheduled to spend the night there before leaving the next day.

She said Guyauquil is bringing in strict restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as the city is one of the worst-affected in the country.

Ecuador has suffered 168 confirmed cases of the virus and three deaths.

The aviation investigation ongoing.

Related Articles

Back to top button