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Plane carrying Saudi Arabia's World Cup team catches fire in mid-air

The aircraft landed safely and one of the Saudi players called the incident a “simple malfunction”

T2 Online Newsdesk 19 June 2018, 12:13 PM
The Saudi Arabian team lands at the Rostov-on-Don airport

The Saudi Arabian team lands at the Rostov-on-Don airport Image: Twitter

The plane carrying Saudi Arabia's World Cup team suffered a fire in one of its engines as the players flew to Rostov-on-Don for their next match, the Saudi football federation said in a statement.

The aircraft landed safely and one of the Saudi players called the incident a “simple malfunction”.

“It was a small fire in one of the engines, the right engine, but the plane landed safely,” association president Ahmad Al Harbi told Saudi sports TV channel KSA.

In a video posted on the federation’s Twitter account, Saudi player Hatan Bahbir says, “We arrived safely and we are all fine... it was a simple malfunction.”

In the video, someone off-camera asks him if he was scared. He replies: “No, no. Well, of course, we were scared a bit, but thank God.”

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said in a statement that it “would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they're heading to their residence safely.”

The team was flying to Rostov-on-Don for its second match against Uruguay on Wednesday, after being thrashed 5-0 by Russia in the opening game of the tournament.

(With inputs from PTI)

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