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NEWS: Australia Prime Minister C-130 on fire over Iraq, made emer landing at Talil AB

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  • NEWS: Australia Prime Minister C-130 on fire over Iraq, made emer landing at Talil AB

    Australian Prime Minister made a surprise visit to Iraq on Saturday. The visit went wrong when he departed southern Iraq on a C-130 for Baghdad. A burning smell was noticed on board when the plane reached the altitude of 1500m and the plane had to turn back and made an emergency landing at Talil Air Base in southern Iraq. There were 30 people on board including the PM and the news report said that they had to put on "emergency gas mask" (sounds like the smoke inside the plane is pretty heavy?)

    Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...3/s1874484.htm (Australia - in English)

    Source: http://www.mpinews.com/htm/INews/20070318/ta70733w.htm (Hong Kong - in Chinese)

    Full text from ABC:

    Originally posted by http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200703/s1874484.htm

    PM praises RAAF crew after midair drama

    The Prime Minister John Howard has praised the RAAF crew of the plane on which he was travelling in Iraq, after they had to make an emergency landing in the south of the country.

    Mr Howard was on board a Hercules transport plane when the loading bay began to fill with smoke en route to Baghdad.

    A burning smell seeped into the cockpit and Mr Howard had to put on an emergency gas mask.

    The Hercules returned to the airstrip at Talil air base and Mr Howard was rushed off the plane, accompanied by his SAS bodyguards.

    Fire crews rushed to the scene, but the cause of the smoke was not immediately obvious.

    Mr Howard spoke to the ABC's Middle East correspondent Matt Brown on the windswept runway, where he praised the crew of the aircraft for getting it back down quickly and safely.

    Asked how he felt as the plane landed, Mr Howard said he thought he was in very good hands.

    "I'd rather be in the hands of the RAAF than anybody else in a situation like that - that's my view," he said.

    Mr Howard swapped planes and went on to make a brief visit to Baghdad, where he met his Iraqi counterpart, Nouri Al Maliki.
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