Swansea Aid volunteers in emergency plane landing
At 8.30am today, a plane left Latakia Airport in Syria carrying 3 women from Swansea and dozens of volunteers bringing aid to Gaza.Shortly after takeoff, the passengers head three loud bangs during the next half hour, and then the captain's announcement:
'We are sorry to inform you, that due to one of our two engines failing, we will be making an emergency landing at Damascus Airport"
Following a bumpy ride, the small plane managed to land safely in Damascus airport with one engine. The plane was on route to El Arish airport in Egypt where the passengers will rejoin the vehicles of aid they have carried from Swansea and other parts of the UK. They will then drive the 30mile to the Rafah border.
Egypt has already blocked the convoy from entering Egypt once, forcing a three day detour. This promoted a hunger strike at the border. Many are considering their options if Egypt once again refuses entry for the 250 vehicle convoy carrying medical aid to the people of Gaza.
Convoy driver D Murphy of Mount Pleasant, Swansea said today from Damascus
'We are now awaiting a replacement plane, which will be leaving Cyprus shortly, and we should be leaving for Egypt again in about 3 hours.I for one feel like I've been spun around very fast, and now have no idea which way I am facing.'
Notes to editors
Full details and photos of the convoy are on