Merkel set for late G20 arrival after 'serious' plane malfunction

Merkel set for late G20 arrival after 'serious' plane malfunction

Merkel set for late G20 arrival after 'serious' plane malfunction

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to arrive in Buenos Aires on Friday evening, far later than planned but still in time to attend a G20 dinner after "serious" technical problems forced her plane to make an emergency landing.

Due to the disfunction of the electric system, the plane had to land in Germany's western city of Cologne, and Merkel will take another plane to continue her trip.

Her office says Mrs Merkel and delegates made a safe, but unscheduled, landing in Cologne after the aircraft developed a technical problem.

Air force Col. Guido Henrich said the problem was caused by the failure of an electrical distributor box, which affected the radio system and also a fuel system, meaning that the plane couldn't dump fuel. Fire trucks were on standby but weren't needed.

The aircraft lost communications for almost an hour, forcing it to make an emergency landing in Germany's Cologne-Bonn airport.

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The air force was sending a similar plane from Cologne-Bonn, where the government's fleet is based, to Buenos Aires on Friday to pick up Merkel after the G-20 summit.

In Argentina on Friday, Merkel had been scheduled to meet Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and their Argentine host, President Mauricio Macri.

It was not immediately clear when a new aircraft would arrive to continue the 15-hour flight to Argentina. News portal Spiegel Online reported the plane suffered a complete failure of its communication system that left the crew without contact with ground control.

"Luckily, we had an excellent crew and the most experienced pilot of the special air mission wing", Merkel said.

"It was a serious malfunction", Merkel told reporters hours later, after the delegation was brought to a hotel in Bonn.

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