Nigeria: Abuja airport closed, runway blocked by Saudi cargo plane, passengers stranded

Nigeria's Aviation Ministry says the international airport at the country's capital, Abuja, is closed with the runway blocked by a Saudi cargo plane.

Hundreds of passengers are stranded. Domestic airlines Arik Air and Aero Contractors cancelled all Thursday flights to and from Abuja. The British Airways Web site shows a flight due to fly to London at 9 a.m. Thursday has been rescheduled for Friday morning.

Aviation Ministry spokesman Joe Obi said a Boeing 747 cargo plane veered off at the maneuvering area of the runway and into a maintenance area after landing Wednesday night at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Obi said in a statement Thursday that concerted efforts are being intensified to remove the obstructing aircraft so that flights can resume.