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Matchstick delays Air India flight

All it took was a single matchstick to create high drama at the Delhi airport and delay an Air India flight by three hours.

delhi Updated: Jan 20, 2010 23:52 IST
HT Correspondent

All it took was a single matchstick to create high drama at the Delhi airport and delay an Air India flight by three hours.

A crew member of an Air India flight to Bangkok (IC 853) discovered a matchstick lying in the aircraft aisle and then rechecked all the passengers and their baggage, delaying the flight.

As a result, the flight, which was scheduled to depart at 2pm, finally departed at 4:55 pm.

The drama began when the crew member, finding the matchstick, alleged one of the passengers was carrying a matchbox. The passenger, M. Rehman (60), who was flying for the first time, denied the allegation. Other passengers joined in the altercation and claimed someone must have been smoking inside the plane, which is a safety hazard.

The captain decided to end the argument and decided to de-board and check all the passengers and the aircraft again. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel went through the drill of checking all the passengers and baggage.

Though no matchbox was found, a single shaving blade was discovered in Rehman’s hand baggage. The CISF spokesman admitted that a blade was found and it must have slipped past the security check.

“There was no smoking on board and we found no matchbox or cigarette,” the spokesman said. “The matchstick must have been lying in the aircraft.”

Emirates flight delayed by 15 hours

An Emirates flight to Dubai (EK 513) was delayed by more than 15 hours due to fog at the IGI airport.

The flight was scheduled for departure at 4.15 am on Wednesday but could finally take off only at 9.15 pm.

‘The flight was delayed due to bad weather conditions. Passengers and crew were disembarked and offered hotel accommodation at premium 5-star properties in Delhi’ – a statement from the airline said.