, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – Thousands of passengers were on Monday night stranded at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after a hitch with fuel supply to planes.
Several flights were cancelled after the pipeline supplying fuel to the airport malfunctioned.
Among those affected by the glitch was the Kenyan team to the 14th IAAF World Championships in Athletics that kicks-off in Moscow on Saturday.
According to the team’s head coach, Sammy Rono, the squad of 49 athletes and a dozen officials were asked to disembark before their scheduled Emirates flight that was due for a 4:30pm local time (+3GMT) take off to Russia via Dubai as the airline made frantic efforts to secure them accommodation.
“The flight has been cancelled until further notice and we were told to leave the plane since we understand the pipeline that supplies fuel to the airport had a problem. We are waiting to be taken to a hotel. They are looking for to accommodate the team,” the head coach told Capital FM on phone from the airport.
Capital FM News later learnt the athletes had been put up at the Laico Regency.
The squad that is seeking to defend Kenya’s position as the top African nation at the biennial track and field global showpiece after finishing third overall at the last edition in Daegu, South Korea, with seven gold, six silver and four bronze had earlier exuded confidence they would deliver at the event at the Luzhniki Stadium, in the Russian capital.
One flight was reportedly diverted to Uganda as airport authorities sought to avert a backlog of outward-bound flights if the problem persisted.