There was a scare on Sunday when a Nairobi bound plane had one of the wheel stuck in a pothole at Manda Airport in Lamu, reports the Nation.

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36 passengers had to disembark immediately when the plane failed to take off, forcing the airport staff to act immediately to scare the place.

Engineers at the airport, sources said, had to push the plane and park it and it was able to fly out later.

“The plane was about to take-off but it was a bit difficult. The pilot had to stop abruptly especially after realising that one of the plane’s tyres was stuck in a huge pothole on the runway. Engineers and airport staff had to be called and assisted in pushing the plane out and parked it at a safer location on the runway from where it was finally able to take-off safely,” said an official.

An eyewitness, Omar Mahmoud, said all had been well as the plane taxied on the runway ready for take-off.

“The issue came just seconds as the plane started to lift its wings in readiness to fly. We saw the tyre on the left side stuck inside a huge hole on the runway. We thank God that the pilot acted swiftly and switched off the engine of the plane. It was a scary moment,” said Mr Mahmoud.

A Fly540 official who spoke to journalists at the Manda Airport said checks were made later to ensure the plane was in good condition after the incident.

“The plane was to take-off at exactly 12.30pm but the issue caused a delay. It took off at 12.54pm after checks were made to ensure the incident hadn’t created any other issue that could interfere with the flight,” said the official.

Manda Airport is usually by businessmen and tourists who visit the small county within the Indian Ocean coastline. 

Kenya Airports Authority has been asked to expand the airport, which has been used for decades at the coast.