Harare: Two people were slightly injured after a passenger aircraft of Zimbabwe`s state-owned airline crashed on take-off after colliding with a herd of wild pigs, officials said on Thursday.
Transport Minister Nicholas Goche told the state-controlled Herald newspaper that the Air Zimbabwe MA60 plane, on a flight to the western city of Bulawayo on Tuesday was about to lift off from Harare airport`s runway shortly after dark when the pigs ran into its path.
"The nose (of the Chinese-made 60-seater) and left main landing gear collapsed after impact," he said.
The aircraft came to a halt off the runway. A wingtip and the propeller of one of the plane`s two engines were damaged.
Two of the 34 passengers were injured, he said. The four crew members escaped unharmed.
Goche said that the animals involved were warthogs, but Mervyn Senior, owner of Mbizi game park which is next to the airfield, said it was more likely the culprits were the smaller bushpig.
"There are no warthogs around here," Senior said, adding bushpigs were a problem at airfields in wildlife areas. "You have to buzz the airfield two or three times before you land," he said.