Cairo international airport came to a standstill on Wednesday (February 28) when 12,000 air and ground staff stopped work for an hour in memory of those killed in last week's Libyan airliner tragedy.
LV Middle East airliner lands
SV Officer in Control Tower
LV, SV Passengers disembark (3 shots)
GV Luggage trolleys
CU Notice "60-minute strike"
GV Onlookers on terminal balcony
SV, GV People with placards (3 shots)
LV Aircraft taxies. Only plane to land during strike
SV 727 motto on engine PAN passengers
SV, GV Passengers disembark among strikers
Initials SGM/1719 SGM/1735
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Background: Cairo international airport came to a standstill on Wednesday (February 28) when 12,000 air and ground staff stopped work for an hour in memory of those killed in last week's Libyan airliner tragedy.
By a strange coincidence, the last aircraft to touch down at Cairo before the stoppage was the same Middle East Airlines jet which monitored radio massages from the doomed Libyan Boeing 727 on February 21 as it was attacked by Israeli fighters. One aircraft did land at Cairo during the sixty-minute stoppage -- a Libyan Airlines 727, identical to the aircraft which was shot down over the Sinai Dessert with the loss of 106 lives.
Air Traffic control staff resumed work to talk the aircraft down and ground staff unloaded passengers' baggage. However, disembarking passengers had to carry their luggage from the airliner to the terminal building through a crowd of placard-waving porters.
The airport stoppage began at 14.10 local Egyptian time (12.10 GMT) -- a week to the minute after the Libyan aircraft was downed.
SYNOPSIS: An Arab airliner lands at Cairo. This was last aircraft to land before the airport closed for an hour, in memory of those killed in last week's Libyan airliner tragedy.
By coincidence, it was this jet which monitored radio messages from the doomed Libyan Airlines aircraft as it was attacked by Israeli fighters over the Sinai Desert on February 21. All work stopped as a tribute to the 106 people who died.
The airport stoppage began at ten minutes past two Egyptian time -- a week to the minute after the Libyan airliner was fired on by Phantom Jets. Many ground staff carried placards calling for revenge against Israel for the disaster. Others were silent for the sixty minutes.
However, one plane did land during the stoppage. Air Traffic Control officials broke the strike long enough to talk down a Libyan Airlines Boeing 727 - identical to the downed aircraft.
Ground staff agreed to unload baggage, but would not ferry luggage to the terminal building. Passengers either carried their own suitcases or waited on the tarmac until the strike was over.