Last Friday (January 20) it snowed heavily in and around the Belgian city of Liège. In the night on Saturday it was still freezing. Among other things, this affected Liège Airport, which is an important airport for air freight traffic in particular.

Sometimes nothing worked at the airport. Airplanes in the air were diverted, jets on the ground did not come to their parking positions. As the newspaper Sudinfo reports, a pushback vehicle even slid under a jet in the northern area of ​​the airport. And several aircraft could not be unloaded – with tragic consequences.

Because in one of the planes, a Qatar Airways Cargo jet, there were nine sloths among other things – and three of them were no longer alive when the plane was finally unloaded on Sunday afternoon. Apparently, the animals had not survived the low temperatures. According to the newspaper’s report, the sloths came from Peru.

The flight to Liège came from Miami and took place with the Boeing 777 F with the registration number A7-BFC. The Qatar Airways Cargo plane then continued on to Doha on Sunday. According to Sudinfo, the animals should be taken to Indonesia from there.

“It is with great regret that Qatar Airways Cargo can confirm the unfortunate deaths of three sloths who were transported from Miami to Liege on January 21 aboard the freighter QR88164,” an airline spokesman told aeroTELEGRAPH.

“Qatar Airways Cargo apologizes unreservedly for this loss, which is currently under full investigation.” It adheres to the highest standards for the transportation of live animals, the spokesman said. “We transport tens of thousands of animals each year without incident and are deeply concerned by this tragic loss.”

The Walloon minister responsible for animal welfare, Céline Tellier, was appalled and announced an investigation and possible sanctions. The airport is also investigating the death of the animals. According to Sudinfo, everyone is now blaming each other – the airline, the company responsible for unloading, the airport. In fact, Liège Airport is used to transporting animals, especially horses.

However, it is not just the question of who is responsible for the fact that no one takes appropriate care of the animals that remains open. It is also not yet known why and on whose behalf the sloths were transported at all. Qatar Airways Cargo also did not comment on this issue.

This article was written by Timo Nowack

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The original for this article “Snow chaos at the airport: Three sloths die in Boeing 777F” comes from aeroTelegraph.