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Home from icy Canada Stranded Swiss plane is back from Arctic

The Zurich to Los Angeles flight was forced to make an emergency landing last Wednesday when one of its engines malfunctioned and automatically stopped working

The Zurich to Los Angeles flight was forced to make an emergency landing last Wednesday when one of its engines malfunctioned and automatically stopped working

(SRF)

A plane from Swiss International Air Lines that was forced to make an emergency landing last week in a remote Inuit town in northern Canada has arrived back safely in Zurich.

The plane touched down at Zurich’s Kloten airport at 8.13am on Thursday, it was reported by the Blick newspaperexternal link

The Boeing 777 was on its way from Zurich to Los Angeles last Wednesday when one of its engines malfunctioned and automatically stopped working. It was forced to make an emergency landing at Iqaluit in northern Canada. There were 216 passengers on board.

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Temperatures at Iqaluit, the capital of the territory of Nunavut on the Arctic Ocean coast with around 7,000 inhabitants, were around -23 degrees Celsius. 

The passengers and crew were forced to wait on board for 14 hours before a new Swiss aircraft arrived to take them on to New York, where they were transferred to another plane bound for Los Angeles.

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But for engineers the job had only just begun. As Iqaluit has no hangar, a heated tent was set up around the plane’s broken engine as temperatures plummeted. 

On Saturday a new engine was flown out from Zurich on an Antonov cargo plane, after it became clear that it was impossible to fix the malfunctioning engine, Swiss public television, RTS, reported on Tuesday. 

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The incident could be costly. The Tages-Anzeiger newspaper estimated that it could be as much as CHF1 million ($1 million), with compensation for the passengers, their flights home, and the transport of a new engine. Swiss refused to confirm this figure.

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