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Airport official punished for frozen jet pushing incident in Russia's Siberia

December 02, 2014, 21:16 UTC+3 KRASNOYARSK
A few more workers of the airport, including chief of a shift which was on duty, an expert responsible for aircraft ground servicing and chief of the airport service would also be punished
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© ITAR-TASS Archive/Grigory Sysoev

KRASNOYARSK, December 2. /TASS/. A senior offical in charge of flight security at Igarka airport in the Krasnoayrsk region has been given administrative punishment as responsible for an incident at the airport on November 25, when a group of passengers disembarked from board to push the aircraft which undercarriarge stuck to the air field under very low air temperatures (minus 50 degrees Celsius).

The Krasnoyarsk regional Prosecutor's said Tuesday that a few more workers on staff of the airport, including chief of a shift which was on duty, an expert responsible for aircraft ground servicing and chief of the airport service would also be punished.

On November 25 a Tu-134 medium-haul jet of the Katekavia airlines carrying 74 oil workers and seven crew was about to leave Igarka for Krasnoyarsk. Shortly before takeoff it turned out that the plane could not move.

An amateur video posted in the Internet afterwards showed passengers ostensibly helping the tug truck push the plane towards the runway.

A senior assistant to West Siberia’s transport prosecutor, Oksana Gorbunova, said commenting on the allegations that the passengers had really managed to push the plane, that the story was "a dangerous hoax".

“ In fact, the passengers were asked to disembark from the plane to let the tow truck pull the plane to the runway. But many passengers who were asked to wait in a nearby bus left the bus without permission and moved towards the stuck plane to force it off the frozen ground. As a matter of fact the plane was moved by a tow vehicle, but the passengers believed that they really moved the plane off the frozen surface. The job was beyond human's physical strength,” Gorbunova explained.

The airport ground services violated air traffic rules which envisage that towing aircraft is the duty of the airport ground services only, while outsiders are banned from staying on the air field.

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