COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s C130 transport aircraft which rushed emergency supplies, medical and relief personnel to Nepal suffered engine trouble and was unable to return home Sunday as previously scheduled, official sources said,.
The aircraft which was due to evacuate 35 Sri Lankan students from Nepal developed engine trouble that forced the aircraft to abort take off and return to the parking area of the busy airport of the landlocked nation.
Official sources said an air force from another South Asian nation offered to ferry spare parts to repair the Sri Lankan air force C130 so that it could fly back probably tomorrow or the day after.
The aircraft had planned another sortie on Monday along with an aircraft of SriLankan Airlines which was to take about 180 doctors and nursing staff who had volunteered to join the internationally-backed relief operation.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said at a public meeting in Colombo that the Nepali authorities had allocated a town some 40 kilometres away from the capital to base Sri Lankan relief workers.
The prime minister said he had been told that the birth place of the Buddha, Lumbini, had been spared the destruction of the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake and after shocks which have claimed more than 2,200 lives according to an official count by Sunday afternoon.
"We consider this an earth quake that hit us because it is in the birth place of the Buddha," Wickremesinghe said. "We will make sure that we will rebuild the city that has been allocated to us."