Iraq PM orders investigation after bear escapes from crate on flight to Dubai

IRAQ, Aug 7: Iraq's Prime Minister has ordered an investigation into how a bear escaped from a crate in the cargo hold of an Iraqi Airways plane at Dubai International Airport.

Mohammed Shia Al Sudani's media office's social media account said he had ordered Transport Minister Razzaq Al Saadawi to investigate.

"A malfunction in an aircraft of Iraqi Airways was reported to the Prime Minister's office by the office of the Prime Minister," Iraq's prime minister's office posted in Arabic.

"The Prime Minister instructed the Minister of Transportation to conduct an urgent and professional investigation into the causes of the malfunction, which adversely affected the aircraft's performance, flights, and passenger services."

Iraqi Airways issued an apology on Friday after the animal escaped and had to be sedated and taken off the flight on arrival at Dubai International Airport.

“The company apologises to the passengers of the flight from Baghdad International Airport to Dubai Airport for reasons beyond the control of the company,” the airline said.

“The delay happened because of a shipment in the cargo hold.

“Upon arrival at Dubai Airport, the animal escaped the crate specified for its shipment.”

The statement said the bear was being transported in line with international animal welfare guidelines.

“The plane crew coordinated with UAE's authority who sent a specialised team to sedate the animal and take it off the plane,” it continued.

“After checking the plane and making sure there is no damage from this incident the flight returned to Baghdad.”

The airline did not disclose why the bear was being transported to the UAE or any further information on its well-being.

Iraqi Airways flights land at Terminal 2, Dubai International Airport.

Dubai Airports was contacted for comment.


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