This footage shows how workers at an Ecuadorian airport are parking their vehicles on the runway in a bid to prevent planes from Europe landing amid the Coronavirus outbreak.
The startling scenes took place at the Jose Joaquin de Olmedo airport in the city of Guayaquil in the western Ecuadorian province of Guayas and the workers were reportedly ordered to park on the runway by the city’s Mayor Cynthia Viteri.
In the video, seemingly recorded from a helicopter, dozens of airport vehicles can be seen parked on the runway in a bid to to prevent planes from landing.
The measure was reportedly brought in place by the city council to prevent an Iberia Airbus A340 landing after taking off from Madrid and a to stop a Boeing 777 being operated by KLM from landing after taking off from Amsterdam.
However, local media report the Iberia flight eventually landed in Quito but with only 11 crew members on-board, having in fact been sent to Ecuador to pick up Spanish citizens in the country to take them back to Spain.
Footage shows how the plane had no passengers on board after it landed.
The KLM flight also landed in Quito with only crew members on board.
Prosecutors have reportedly begun an investigation into the incident and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works blamed the Guayaquil City Council for making air activity more difficult during the coronavirus pandemic.
Reports state 170 passengers boarded the KLM plane in Quito but it is unclear if the two planes have returned to Europe.
Mayor Viteri, who belongs to the conservative Social Christian Party party, took responsibility for the incident, saying she would do it again to protect the city from the arrival of people at risk of having COVID-19.
She claimed that the planes had been about to land in the city and the crew members were scheduled to spend the night there before returning the next day.
The mayor said that Guyauquil is bringing in strict restrictions on movement in and out to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, with the city being one of the worst-affected areas in the country.
Ecuador has suffered 168 confirmed cases of the virus, leading to three deaths.
The investigation is still ongoing.
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