Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Great Rats to Fly With!

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Great Rats to Fly With!

Posted on July 6, 2009

Adil Najam

Here is a news item published in today's The News (July 7, 2009, by Khalid Iqbal):

RAWALPINDI: Passengers heaved a sigh of relief when their plane from Birmingham finally landed at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport here on Monday, as they had been pestered by a number of rats who traveled with them all the way from Birmingham to Islamabad.

Dozens of big rats were present in the Boeing-777 flight No PK-792 that started its journey from Birmingham and landed here at 6:30 am on Monday. The passengers faced panic and disturbance due to the presence of the rats throughout the journey.

According to schedule, this flight, which had to leave for London at 11:30 am on Monday, could not be cleared of the rodents. The PIA management sent more than 50 mousetraps for catching the rats through its flight PK-368 from Karachi. However, the operation to catch the rats failed and the passengers of flight PK-792 took off at 2:30 pm on Monday instead of 11:30 am. The change, however, was that the passengers left on flight No PK-368 and not the original PK-792.

PIA Deputy Director Muhammad Latif admitted that big rats were present in the flight from Birmingham. He told The News that the engineering staff of the airlines succeeded in trapping the rats after a hard struggle. The big rats might have entered the plane while it was parked at the London Airport cargo centre, he added.

As the plane took off from the London airport, he said, the rats created panic and disturbance among the passengers and the plane staff informed the PIA officials about it.The passengers, who landed at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport, strongly protested against the incident.

APP: PIA Spokesman Sultan Hassan said on Monday that the Boeing 777 was grounded at the Islamabad Airport when the rats were found inside the plane. Talking to a TV channel, he said that after fumigation, the plane would be made operational.


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