The medevac unit of Abu Dhabi’s Royal Jet evacuated 31 Chinese workers injured in explosions in the Republic of Congo on March 10, transporting them on a Boeing Business Jet from Maya Maya Airport in Brazzaville, Congo’s capital, to Beijing, China, in 16 hours following a brief stop in Abu Dhabi for fuel and crew change. The blasts, which government officials attributed to an electrical short circuit in an arms depot in Brazzaville, claimed more than 200 lives and injured over 1,500. Six Chinese workers out of about 140 working at a nearly construction site died in the explosions.
Apart from the medevac team, led by Royal Jet medevac medical director Dr. Ibraham Soto, five Chinese medical experts dispatched to Brazzaville by the Beijing government tended to the wounded aboard the BBJ. Vice Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng and other senior Beijing municipal officials welcomed the airplane as it arrived at Beijing airport.
“This is a record achievement for Royal Jet under extremely difficult circumstances,” said Royal Jet president and CEO Shane O’Hare. “This is the first time we’ve evacuated 31 patients on one aircraft. All the injured were medically assessed to ensure that they could undergo the long-distance flight. They are now receiving medical treatment in hospitals in Beijing.”