Nepal airport reopens after runway cleared

AP News
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Posted: Mar 07, 2015 11:28 PM

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal's only international airport reopened four days after a Turkish Airlines jet skidded and blocked the single runway, the aviation authority said Sunday.

The first planes took off just before midnight as thousands of stranded passengers crowded the airport in hopes of getting on a flight.

The Turkish Airbus 330, whose front landing gear was broken, was removed from the grass with a flat-bed truck and towed to a parking area. No one was injured when the plane skidded off the wet surface on Wednesday.

Airlines have said they would bring in extra flights and the airport would be open 24 hours to accommodate the departures. Nepal's government said it will wave visa fees for the stranded passengers.

March is the beginning of the tourist season, when thousands of foreigners come for trekking and to climb the Himalayan peaks.