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Narrow escape for 110 AI passengers

Passengers of an Air India Bhopal-Delhi flight had a narrow escape at Indira Gandhi International Airport after a wrongly parked stepladder hit the plane, reports HT Correspondent.

delhi Updated: Jan 01, 2009 07:59 IST

Passengers of an Air India Bhopal-Delhi flight had a narrow escape at Indira Gandhi International Airport after a wrongly parked stepladder hit the plane.

The Airbus A-320 aircraft (flight IC-133) from Bhopal landed at the Delhi airport around 10 am on Thursday. While it was being docked to parking bay number 123 on the domestic apron, it hit a stepladder of Jet Airways.

The tip of the plane’s left wing hit the stepladder and was damaged. Thankfully, none of the 110 passengers on board were injured.

“The stepladder was placed in a no-parking zone next to the bay. The aircraft was turning towards the bay when the stepladder hit its wing tip,” said an airport official, who is not authorised to talk to the media.

“It seems the brakes of the stepladder were not working and it had rolled down to that area. From the way the stepladder toppled over, it seems it was coming towards the aircraft, which could have been dangerous had it hit any part other than the wing tip. There was no ladder operator either and it should not have been parked there at all,” he said.

“The left wing of the aircraft has been damaged and airport authorities and the airline officials are investigating the incident. A detailed report would be submitted to the regulatory authorities in this respect,” said a spokesman of airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL).

The Jet Airways spokesman refused to take HT’s calls.

The incident is being investigated by Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Passenger injured

A passenger travelling by an Air India flight to New York (flight AI-101) suffered a cut on her fingers while placing her baggage in the aircraft’s overhead bin.

“Her finger got caught while she was trying to close the overhead bin. Usually, passengers just keep their baggage inside the bin and it is closed by the crew,” said an airport source.

The passenger, Poonam Sharma, was immediately attended to by Air India and DIAL officials, a DIAL spokesman said. She was administered first aid at the airport terminal’s medical room and then shifted to Apollo hospital by an airport ambulance and accompanied by Air India & Airport Medical Staff.

“She is is currently recuperating and DIAL staff are in touch with her family,” the spokesman said. “The incident happened due to the passenger’s fault but all possible medical help was provided to her by the airline staff and we facilitated her visit to the hospital,” an Air India spokesman said.