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After difficult 25-hour wait for aircraft at Charleroi, 189 passengers take off for Algiers
The 189 passengers blocked at Brussels South Charleroi airport finally took off for Algiers at 17.00 on Monday, reports RTBF.
Following a technical problem the aircraft was unable to leave on Sunday at 16.00 as scheduled. As the delay became longer, tension mounted among the passengers, who included the young, old and wheelchair-bound.
One of the passengers told RTBF that during the 25-hour wait, people were without food and drink. She said: “Around half of the passengers were taken to a hotel around 23.00, but they were unable to eat because everything was closed. “Those remaining at the airport had to sleep on the ground with blankets. Restaurant vouchers could not be used because the place to use them was closed.”
“People are agitated and they are breaking things in the departure hall. It’s breaking into a riot and the police are here,” said the witness.
She continued: “What is most incredible, there is also a deceased person who should have been taken to Algiers and who is in a coffin since 24 hours.”
Spokesperson for Tui, Sarah Saucil, said a technical problem had obliged the company to delay the flight until Monday afternoon. She said hotel rooms had been offered to the passengers as well as restaurant vouchers. “Our staff on the ground are doing everything they can to help passengers in the best way possible,” she said.
Tui called on another company, Smartlynx, to operate the flight as all its aircraft were busy.
According to European legislation, damages of €250 will be awarded, confirmed Tui Belgium, on condition that passengers lodge a complaint.
Photo: Laurie Dieffembacq / Belga