Nepal earthquake: RSAF planes unable to land in Kathmandu airport due to congestion

SINGAPORE - Plans to evacuate Singaporeans out of quake-hit Nepal have been delayed as three Republic of Singapore Air Force C-130 planes did not land at Kathmandu Airport on Monday.

Two of the RSAF planes were diverted to Calcutta in India. The third C-130, which left Singapore on Sunday night, was rerouted to the Indian city of Patna.

The diversions have also put on hold the Republic's rescue and relief efforts. Onboard the planes are nearly 50 men and women from Singapore Civil Defence Force's DART (including four dogs) and Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre's advance team, as well as, relief aid.

Mr Muhammad Hilwan Mohamed Idrus, who is leading a team to climb Mount Everest, said in an e-mail update that the planes did not land at the airport because the airport was congested.

One of the Everest team member Seumas Yeo, was supposed to be flown out on Monday, after he was injured on April 15 during the team's Lobuche summit climb. The economics graduate had surgery and was recovering at Norvic International Hospital in Kathmandu when an earthquake with magnitude 7.8 shook Nepal.