Five members of the Super Falcons participating at the on-going African Women’s Nations Cup in Cameroon were forced to travel by road from Douala to Yaoundé yesterday, as the aircraft in which they were supposed to fly developed electrical fault shortly before take off.
The team, which defeated the Banyana Banyana of South Africa 1-0 to qualify for the final of the championship, had left their Parliamentarian Flat hotel in Buea at 6.00 a.m. and arrived in Douala for their flight to Yaoundé. They were scheduled to depart Douala at 9.00 a.m. for the state capital, a journey of about 45 minutes by air and about four hours by road.
The Nigerians arrived at Douala airport alongside their South African counterparts, who will face Ghana’s Black Queens in tomorrow’s third-place match.
But on getting to Douala airport, CAF officials could not secure enough seats for the entire Nigerian team to continue their journey inside one plane. “The team experienced some delay at the airport, but at the end, all the players and officials could not travel together in one plane because it was a small aircraft which could not accommodate both Nigeria and the South African team at the same time. As a result, five members of the team were left behind.
“Those five people were later checked into another plane, but just as they were preparing to commence the journey to Yaoundé, smoke started coming out from the plane due to electrical problem and everybody was evacuated. The five people had to embark on their journey by road to Yaoundé,” a member of the team said.
She added that even those who made the trip by air had to leave their luggage behind in Douala due to the small nature of the plane.
They were expecting their bags to arrive their Djeuga Palace hotel in Yaoundé at 8.00 p.m. yesterday.
The incidence is coming less than 24 hours after a Brazilian football team was involved in a plane crash on their way to a match in Colombia.