Ottawa, 30 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - A Russian jet has been pulled out of meter-deep mud at a Canadian Forces base in Ontario.
The huge cargo plane slid off the runway during a landing on Christmas Eve. It was ferrying cargo for the Canadian military from a humanitarian assistance program in central Africa.
Base spokesman Captain Ian Stock says crews gave up their Christmas holidays to do the job.
Engineers at the Canadian Forces Base had to build an access road across the soggy ground, spreading gravel and then laying down metal matting. Crews then removed fuel and cargo from the plane to make it easier to pull it free.
Stock says the plane will undergo a thorough examination by aircraft maintenance experts before it is cleared for take off again but he says that it appears the plane suffered little damage. There were no injuries among the 17 Russian crew members and one Canadian passenger.