CAA investigating damage to Virgin aircraft
The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority has launched an investigation into the circumstances under which a Virgin Airways aircraft was substantially damaged while landing at the Hewanorra International Airport last week.
The A300 airbus had its landing gear damaged and undercarriage ripped apart when it landed at the airport with close to 40 passengers during heavy rains that accompanied the low level trough that caused death and widespread destruction in St Lucia.
Airport officials told the Caribbean Media Corporation that that the airbus, flight VS-98, was on its final approach when a nearby river burst its banks and flooded the runway and sections of the airport.
They said the flood waters carried with it a baggage container and a refrigerator which damaged the aircraft.
No one was injured in the incident, but the onward flight to Gatwick International Airport in London had to be cancelled. The damaged aircraft is still grounded in St Lucia.
The airport reopened last Thursday after being closed for more than 30 hours.
The St Lucia Air and Port Authority Monday confirmed that an investigation into the incident had started and that it was working with its own experts and Virgin Atlantic.
On Monday, Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony declined to comment on the incident, telling reporters only that investigations were at a sensitive stage and it would be inappropriate to respond at this time.