NEW DELHI: Averting a possible tragedy, an air ambulance carrying a patient and doctors from Patna to Delhi made an emergency landing on a field in south-west Delhi’s Najafgarh on Tuesday afternoon after its engines failed mid-air.
Eyewitnesses said the pilot tried to land on the road but could not and then took a round. He was probably trying to avoid residential areas and landed on an agricultural field, they said. There were seven people on board.
“We saw the pilot making an attempt to land on the road. After touching down, it took off again only to land at a nearby field. The villagers rushed and took out the passengers. We gave them water and called the police,” said Devender Singh, a 50-year-old man form Kair village, where the plane landed.
According to the Air Traffic Controller, the pilot requested for emergency landing but was a few kilometres away from the Delhi airport and had to land on the city’s outskirts.
Police said the twin-engine chartered plane, owned and operated by Alchemist pharmaceutical company, was on its way from Patna to Delhi carrying a critically ill patient.
No casualties were reported. The injured passengers were taken to Rao Tula Ram Hospital in Delhi and Medanta in Gurgaon. The Civil Aviation Ministry has asked the Aircraft Accident Investigation Unit to probe the incident.
Deependra Pathak, joint commissioner of police (southwest), said residents of Kair village called the police control room to inform about the incident. The PCR vans and local police reached the spot and alerted CATS ambulances and nearest hospitals, said Pathak.
“The moment our teams learnt that an elderly patient was on board the flight, they rescued him and put him in one of the PCR vans. The patient was sent to Medanta hospital. It took them less than 20 minutes to reach. They did a commendable job,” he said.
The occupants of the Beechcraft King Air C90 plane, manufactured in 1989, were treated at Medanta.
The occupants included Dr. Rupesh, technician Jang Bahadur, patient Virendra Rai, Bhagwan Rai, Juhi, pilot Amit and co-pilot Rohit. Virendra Rai’s brother, Bhagwan Rai, who sustained a superficial wound on his head, was taken to Rao Tularam Hospital in Jaffarpur Kalan.
“We had kept 10 beds ready as we were warned of mass casualties. Doctors and staff members had also been kept on standby,” said Dr Bhavesh Kumar, chief medical officer of the casualty wing.
The patient is in intensive care unit at Medanta due to the stroke he suffered earlier. “The accident may have had an impact but we don’t know exactly yet,” said another doctor.