Thursday, September 22, 2005

Emergency! Emergency! I need to watch a soccer match.

A jet carrying 289 Gambian soccer fans faked an emergency so they could land early enough to see their team play. I'm all for dedication to your nation's team, but this is taking it a bit far.

"The plane, claiming to be low on fuel, landed Tuesday in Peru's northern coast city of Piura, where Gambia played Qatar in the FIFA Under-17 World Championships later that night.

Emergency crews were scrambled ahead of the Lockhead L1011 Tri-Star's unscheduled landing. It was to have landed in the capital, Lima.

The fans were allowed to watch the soccer game in Piura, which Gambia won 3-1. The fans apparently would have been late or missed the game if the flight had first gone to its scheduled destination of Lima, 550 miles to the south.

"It truly was a scam," said Betty Maldonado, a spokeswoman for Peru's aviation authority, CORPAC. "They tricked the control tower, saying they were low on fuel."


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