A charter flight for Jews taking part in the annual pilgrimage to a famed 18th century hasidic rebbe’s grave in Eastern Europe was forced to make an emergency landing Sunday in Amsterdam.
The Boeing 767, carrying some 200 passengers, was forced down after the cabin suddenly depressurized. Witnesses say passengers were forced to breathe through masks tied to the plane’s emergency oxygen system while the plane diverted from its flight path to land.
Originating in London Stansted Airport, the charter flight was scheduled to fly to Ukraine, where passengers would disembark and continue on their way to the city of Lizansk, just over the border in Poland.
The flight was one of many special chartered flights by visitors looking to make the annual pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Elimelech Weisblum in Lizajsk (Lizhensk). This Sunday marks the 230th anniversary of Rabbi Weisblum’s passing.
After an hour on the ground in Amsterdam, the flight was airborne again.