Merkel's plane makes unscheduled landing after technical hitch

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A plane carrying German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Group of 20 meeting in Argentina was forced to make an unscheduled landing Thursday night in western Germany.

A replacement German air force plane was being prepared to carry Merkel and her entourage to the G-20 meeting, which starts Friday in the Argentine capital.

"Following a technical problem, the official plane landed safely in Cologne", the news agency quoted the Chancellery as saying.

The plane turned back from the Netherlands and landed in Cologne because it was the only base with a a replacement plane, the news agency said.

"A technical problem" caused Merkel's Airbus to abort its planned 15-hour flight to Argentina only an hour after takeoff.

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The plane was met on the tarmac by emergency vehicles.

Merkel and other passengers initially remained on board the aircraft, named Konrad Adenauer after Germany's first post-war chancellor, as mechanics inspected its brakes and several fire engines waited nearby.

According to German military blog Augengeradeaus.net, the aircraft was transmitting a 7600 transponder code, indicating a radio failure.

"We will not be proceeding today", she told AFP.

The G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires comes amid growing economic uncertainty and global displeasure with U.S. President Donald Trump's trade policy.

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