Thu 11 Jan 2024, 09:34 by Ash Harrison

Yankuba Minteh on board Gambian flight to AFCON which was minutes away from disaster

Yankuba Minteh on board Gambian flight to AFCON which was minutes away from disaster
Soccrates Images via Getty Images
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The African Cup Of Nations is about to get underway and Newcastle United have one representative set to play in the competition.

That player is Yankuba Minteh who is yet to make his debut for Newcastle after joining Feyenoord on loan immediately after signing for the Magpies.

Minteh is part of the Gambian national team who were involved in a terrifying incident on board their flight to their base of operations for the AFCON.

The pilot's quick thinking saved the day

A technical fault on their plane meant that oxygen wasn't being circulated around the cabin and neither was the air conditioning causing several players to pass out.

Luckily for all on board, the pilot turned the plane around and landed immediately.

The Daily Mail reports that some players didn't wake up until the plane had landed and that the carbon monoxide levels in the plane were so dangerous that those on board were at severe risk of death had the pilot not acted so swiftly.

The Gambia's coach spoke about the incident

The Gambia's Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet told Nieuwsblad:

"We could all have been dead. We all fell asleep quickly. Me, too. I had short dreams about how my life was done. Really and truly.

"After nine minutes the pilot decided to return because there was no oxygen supply. Some players did not wake up [until] immediately after landing.

"We almost got carbon monoxide poisoning. Another half hour of flying and we would all have been dead."

We hope that all on board make a swift recovery, physically and mentally, and go on to have a great tournament.

We'll be keeping an eye on Minteh's progress.

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