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Plane carrying 170 Irish pilgrims forced to turn back to Dublin twice

A spokesperson for the company in charge of organising the tour said a different plane will be taking passengers to Medjugorje now.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

A PLANE CARRYING 170 pilgrims from Dublin to Medjugorje was forced to turn back twice today after an indicator light in the cockpit signalled an issue with the aircraft.

A spokesperson for Marian Pilgrimages, which is in charge of organising the tour for the pilgrims, told TheJournal.ie that the plane first took off from Dublin Airport at 7.30am. It was in the air for around 20 minutes before there was a “sensor indication in the cockpit”. The pilot turned back and on the tarmac back at Dublin Airport an engineer examined the plane and found everything was fine.

The flight, with some slightly more nervous passengers, took off again at around 11am but encountered the same problem and again turned back. The spokesperson said the pilgrims were “reluctant to go on the same aircraft again” despite the fact that it was worked on by a number of engineers and so another aircraft was called in from Paris to replace it.

“Our biggest priority is safety and also taking into consideration the fears of the pilgrims,” the spokesperson said.

The replacement plane from Paris has now landed and is due to take off soon and should arrive at its destination at 11pm tonight.

“We’re on our way now,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a pain for people being that delayed but hopefully they can get on with their pilgrimage now”.

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