Stray bullet hits plane landing in Beirut, no casualties

BEIRUT — A stray bullet hit a Middle East Airlines jet while landing in Beirut on Thursday, causing property damage. The Lebanese airline’s chief executive said no passengers or crew were injured.

The jet was landing on its way home from Jordan when the bullet hit the plane, Mohammad Elhout said. He said he often faces such incidents in addition to endangering aviation.

Airport officials said the bullet hit the roof of the jet and remained on board.

Congressman Paula Jacobian was clearly on the plane and wrote on Twitter that “illegal weapons” should be banned. She posted a photo of the bullet hole in the luggage compartment taken from the plane, and she added that she would explain the details on a TV talk show later in the evening.

In Lebanon, people often open fire not only at weddings and funerals, but also to celebrate passing school and university exams. Such shootings tend to follow when a country’s political leaders give speeches.

It is also common for Lebanese to have pistols and automatic weapons in their homes, many of which are leftovers from the 1975-1990 civil war.

Associated Press