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Germany's Merkel to miss G20 opening after aircraft malfunction
2018-11-30 10:01:43

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will miss the opening of the G20 summit in Argentina after her plane was forced to land shortly after leaving Berlin, the BBC reports. 

Her office says "Mrs Merkel and delegates made a safe, but unscheduled, landing in Cologne after the aircraft developed a technical problem."

The government’s Airbus A340 aircraft carrying Merkel and her delegation to the Group of 20 summit of industrialized nations turned around after technical problems surfaced an hour into the 15-hour flight, and landed safely at the Cologne-Bonn airport. The plane turned back while it was over the Netherlands.

“It was a serious malfunction,” Merkel told reporters hours later, after the delegation was brought to a hotel in Bonn, according to Reuters. .

“Luckily, we had an excellent crew and the most experienced pilot of the special air mission wing,” she added.

The airplane captain told passengers he had decided to land after the “malfunction of several electronic systems”, but said there had been no security risk.

Der Spiegel magazine said the entire communication system malfunctioned, constituting a serious emergency, with the crew forced to plan the landing using an on-board satellite phone.

Mrs Merkel is now expected to travel to Buenos Aires on Friday.