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How Napoli star Mertens escaped unhurt as jet skips runway


Dries Mertens was involved in a huge scare after arriving back in Belgium on Saturday after his private jet slid off the runway while landing, according to reports.

The Belgium forward, who will miss  tonight’s Coppa Italia clash with Atalanta, returned back home over the weekend to see a specialist on his left ankle injury that has not fully healed since his setback on December 16.

But as he touched down at Deurne airport, in Antwerp, ahead of the visit to the specialist, things took a worrying turn as the private plane landed according to Het Laatste Nieuws.

Amid a downfall of heavy rain in Antwerp, the pilots reportedly couldn’t keep the aircraft on the runway and it moved further ahead than planned, before skidding onto the grass of the safety zone.

Mertens escaped unhurt as plane skips runway

Fortunately for Mertens, whose dog – Juliette – was also on board, were both unharmed in the incident.

‘We were called up on Saturday evening around 9.20pm to provide assistance,’ a member of staff at the Antwerp fire brigade told the newspaper.

‘We pulled the aircraft back onto the runway with two technical vehicles.’

Recall that the 33-year-old sprained his left ankle during the 1-0 defeat against Inter Milan in Serie A in mid-December.

Mertens had recently returned to action for Napoli but the ankle flared up again after playing through pain-killing injections.




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