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Middle East Airlines plane hit by stray bullet on Beirut airport tarmac

In Beirut, "seven or eight planes are hit per year" by stray bullets, according to the airline's director.

Middle East Airlines plane hit by stray bullet on Beirut airport tarmac

A bullet hole is seen in a Middle East Airlines (MEA) passenger plane, after it was hit by a stray bullet while landing in Beirut, with no injuries reported, according to MEA Chairman Mohamad El-Hout, Lebanon Nov. 10, 2022. (Credit: Middle East Airlines/Handout via Reuters)

BEIRUT — A Middle East Airlines plane was hit on Thursday by a stray bullet, which pierced the fuselage of the aircraft landing at Beirut's international airport, airline director Mohammad el-Hout told L'Orient Today.

He added that there were no reported injuries from the bullet but that the airport "is facing this problem permanently."

"The bullet perforated the cabin of a plane [coming] from Jordan when it landed in Beirut," Hout said.

Hout told Reuters that "seven or eight planes are hit per year" while parked on the tarmac of the airport.

'We felt an impact'

Forces of Change MP Paula Yacoubian told L'Orient Today that she was on board the plane. "I was coming back from Jordan and we were on the runway. We felt the impact of a bullet, and when I got off my seat, I could see a bullet on the ground."

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UNICEF calls for end of celebratory gunfire in Lebanon

Earlier Thursday afternoon, the Beirut MP called on Twitter for an "end to loose weapons and stray bullets" and added that she will provide more details during local channel MTV's evening broadcast.

In January of this year, Greece's Aegean Airlines suspended flights to Beirut after discovering "damage" caused by a bullet hole in the fuselage of one of its aircraft that landed in Lebanon the day before.

Also in January 2021, MEA aircraft were damaged after being hit by stray bullets during New Year's Eve celebrations.

Unregulated weapons possession and celebratory shootings regularly cause casualties and material damage in Lebanon, despite recent tougher sentences for this phenomenon by the military justice system.

A month ago, stray bullets landed in the garden of the Japanese ambassador to Lebanon, Takeshi Okubo.

Correction: A previous version of this article quoted MP Paula Yacoubian as saying she saw a bullet casing after leaving the plane. The quotation has been corrected to reflect that she saw a bullet after getting up from her seat.


BEIRUT — A Middle East Airlines plane was hit on Thursday by a stray bullet, which pierced the fuselage of the aircraft landing at Beirut's international airport, airline director Mohammad el-Hout told L'Orient Today.He added that there were no reported injuries from the bullet but that the airport "is facing this problem permanently." "The bullet perforated the cabin of a plane [coming] from...