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Faulty passenger assistance unit causes 8 injuries

Faulty passenger assistance unit causes 8 injuries

Six passengers from Air Namibia flight SW708 and two Air Namibia personnel were involved in an incident caused by the passenger assistance unit equipment failure at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Friday last week.

The incident, which reportedly took place at around 21:20 on 13 December took place upon the arrival of flights SW728 Johannesburg to Windhoek and SW708 Cape Town to Windhoek when the passenger assistance unit tipped backward while passengers were offloaded from the SW708 flight.

According to Air Namibia officials, after the initial investigations, a breakage was found at a factory welded joint. The passengers, as well as the Air Namibia personnel, fell down, primarily from the tipping movement thereby causing some minor injuries. The airport fire station was called in and an ambulance dispatched to the scene. The passengers and Air Namibia personnel were immediately transported to Lady Pohamba Hospital in Windhoek.

Three passengers were discharged immediately after observation, while the other three passengers were admitted, and Air Namibia staff members are booked off until Wednesday, 18 December 2019.

Air Namibia spokesperson Paulus Nakawa said the airline regrets the incident, adding that the specific passenger assistance unit underwent a full service in November 2019.

“Air Namibia acknowledges the gravity of this incident and has constituted a team of aviation experts in their respective fields to carry out an in-depth investigation. The team is tasked to find the root cause of this incident and make recommendations to maintain the Airline’s unblemished safety record. The team is comprised of; Manager of Safety (Lead Investigator), Manager of Security (Co-opted Investigator), General Manager of Ground Operations and a Quality Assurance Officer. The passenger assistance unit has been suspended indefinitely until it is declared safe to operate,” Nakawa said.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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