New Delhi/Patna: A major tragedy was averted when a Delhi-bound aircraft, with 185 passengers on board, was forced to make an emergency landing at Jayprakash Narayan International Airport in Patna after one of the wings caught fire. According to sources, all the passengers plus the flight crew were safely rescued.
A senior SpiceJet official told IANS that a SpiceJet B737-800 aircraft was operating from Patna to Delhi. On takeoff, during rotation, the cockpit crew suspected a bird hit on one of the engines.
“As a precautionary measure and as per SOP, the captain shut down the affected engine and decided to return to Patna,” the official said, adding that the aircraft landed safely in Patna and passengers were safely deboarded. Post flight inspection showed a bird hit with 3 fan blades got damaged.
The flight took off from Patna airport on Sunday at 12 noon and it returned again to the airport after 25 minutes.
The airport official said that the fire was reported by an onlooker at a time when the aircraft was flying over Phulwarisharif locality.
The local resident of Phulwari Sharif informed Patna police which further communicated to airport authority. The airport officials contacted the ATC officials who further informed the pilot about the incident.
“The flight took off at Patna airport. After travelling for 25 minutes, we realized that it was returning back to Patna. There was some panic inside the aircraft,” said a passenger, Rajesh Sharma.
Another passenger who was sitting on the left side of the plane on the window seat said: “I saw smoke and fire coming out from the left engine. It was scary but we thought that there were so many passengers in the plane and God certainly helped us.”
The airline company has provided another aircraft for the passengers to fly to New Delhi.
Meanwhile, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also issued a statement sharing similar details. The onlookers shot the video of the plane from the ground as one of its wings had caught fire. The fire was not visible from such a long distance, however, smoke could be seen. – IANS