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Jan 12, 9:17 AM EST

Lebanon closes airport landfill over bird risks

BEIRUT (AP) -- Lebanon has closed a landfill at the foot of a runway at the Beirut international airport in response to concerns that seagulls circling around the site pose a threat to aircraft safety.

Public Works Minister Youssef Fenianos said workers were installing ultrasonic noise makers on Thursday to keep the gulls out of the flight path, after local media reported multiple bird strikes, citing unnamed airport workers.

Birds were seen around the landfill as planes touched down on the opposite end of the runway.

Since authorities opened the landfill last year, environmentalists have warned it would attract large birds, leading to catastrophic strikes if they were sucked into engines.

Lebanon has been grappling with a garbage crisis since authorities were forced to close an overused landfill serving the capital in 2015.

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