Medical Plane Avoids Collision Over Haiti

A U.S. government plane carrying medical personnel into Haiti was diverted to another Caribbean island Thursday night after getting caught in the backwash of a plane landing at the crowded Port-au-Prince airport.

NPR's Joanne Silberner, who was on board the plane, said the incident caused the aircraft's engine to stall, though the pilot managed to stabilize it. Later, the plane was running low on fuel when it developed cabin pressure problems. That's when the pilot decided to divert the plane to Providenciales, one of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The disaster medical assistance teams — doctors, pharmacists, computer specialists, nurses — aim to set up and run several hospitals once they arrive in Haiti, Silberner said.

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