Ghana U23 national soccer team Black Meteors enroute to Gabon from Ghana on March 25 midnight escaped from a plane crash scare.
The Black Meteors after defeating The Panthers of Gabon in an entertaining 4-0 win at the Accra Stadium in Ghana on Saturday, March 23 in the ongoing U23 AFCON qualifier departed Ghana on Monday, around 12 mid-night for the return leg in Gabon but suffered a real plane crash scare on their way.
The head coach for the Black Meteors, Ibrahim Tanko speaking with Sir Joe in a phone-in interview from Gabon on Kessben Sports explained what exactly happened,
“We left Accra around 12 in the morning, did a transit at Togo and took a flight to go to Libreville(Gabon). Like 10-20 minutes before we were going to land, the pilot gave a sign. From that time, we anticipated we were going to land but it took us about an hour in the air with no information from the pilot. You could see inside the flight was very quiet because nobody knew what was really happening. The pilot tried severally to land but was unsuccessful so he later decided to go to Cameroon, Duala and land. That alone took us about 40 minutes and God been so good, he was able to land. We waited for like an hour before we later took the flight again back to Libreville.”
Ibrahim Tanko was asked if the pilot gave them any prior notice when he initially decided to land and reasons why the plane was still in the air and not landing,
“He said it. He told us to get ready for landing. And we normally know after such an announcement at least, it takes a maximum of 15-20 minutes then the plane will land so we were all preparing but it travelled to 30 minutes and over and we were still in the air so everybody was worried and some even started contemplating if the pilot has lost control with the navigation system or something. he answered.
“He also wasn’t talking anymore. Everybody became very very worried. For about an hour he kept trying to land but wasn’t successful, so it brought a real scare inside the flight. But we thank God we landed safely eventually.” the coach added.
The Black Meteors’ Head Coach further explained by saying “Yes, the time he decided to go to Cameroon is when he announced that “the weather was too bad so he can’t land at Libreville so he was sending us to Cameroon”. So after that, people became somehow calm and there was no panic because we heard the pilot’s voice after some minutes and he gave us a reason which wasn’t related to any fault from the plane but just the weather……So we were all saying every prayer we knew, he joked.
Ibrahim Tanko is also optimistic the uncertainties they faced on their way to Gabon wouldn’t have any negative impact on his players and that he and his staff would psyche the boys and prepare them for their game. The Black Meteors will play Gabon tomorrow March 26 in Libreville.
By: Andrews Frimpong