Merkel to miss G20 opening after emergency landing in Cologne: spokeswoman

The Airbus A340 government aircraft carrying Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German delegation to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires which was forced to land shortly after taking off from Berlin sits at the Cologne Bonn airport Germany

The Airbus A340 government aircraft carrying Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German delegation to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires which was forced to land shortly after taking off from Berlin sits at the Cologne Bonn airport Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Cologne not long after it took off for the G20 summit in Argentina, after it experienced "electronic problems" mid-flight, German media report.

Shortly after departing from Berlin on Thursday evening, the plane circled over the Netherlands and landed at the Cologne/Bonn airport in western Germany - which is also home base for the German government's aircraft.

"Following a technical problem, the official plane landed safely in Cologne", the news agency quoted the Chancellery as saying.

The pilot informed the chancellor and other passengers that a technical defect had caused the "malfunction of several electronic systems" on the Airbus A340-300.

The plane was met on the tarmac by fire engines, although the captain said there had been no security risk. A German military blog reported it was due to a technical problem with its radio.

Merkel to miss G20 opening after emergency landing in Cologne: spokeswoman

A replacement German air force plane was being prepared to carry Merkel and her entourage to the G-20 meeting, which starts Friday in the Argentine capital.

Later, the delegation traveled by bus to a hotel in Bonn.

The delay will complicate Merkel's schedule at meeting where the G20 members already expect to face very hard negotiations on myriad issues. Delegation sources said efforts were underway to organise new flights for Merkel and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, possibly on a commercial carrier.

They said the issue involved damage caused by rodents.

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