Freak storm causes airport closures across EX-YU

A powerful supercell storm with strong winds and heavy rain has killed at least five people and injured dozens of others across the former Yugoslav republics yesterday, causing infrastructure damage and airport closures. In Banja Luka, part of the airport’s roof has been blown off, resulting in its closure. “We are assessing the damages in order for the airport to be reopened as soon as possible”, the General Manager of Banja Luka Airport, Natalija Trivić, said.

In Zagreb, a number of flights were delayed and two were diverted yesterday afternoon as the storm swept through the city, causing localised flash flooding near the airport. The airport is now operating normally.

In Belgrade, the airport was closed for over an hour yesterday evening as the storm advanced across the Serbian capital, resulting in delays and the cancellation of several flights. An Air Serbia ATR72 aircraft, which was taxiing to the runway at Belgrade Airport bound for Krakow when the storm hit, had its engine fire indication activated because of strong tailwinds on the tarmac, according to the carrier. Consequently, the aircraft’s fire extinguishing systems were triggered. The flight was eventually cancelled.

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