A New Delhi-bound Air India flight with 134 people, including former minister and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, on board made an emergency landing on Friday evening at the Gaya airport after taking off following oil leakage in its landing wheel.
The Air India flight (AI 433) via Varanasi took off from Gaya airport at 4:40pm with 127 passengers and seven crew members on board, airport director Dilip Kumar said.
The Airbus A320 aircraft, after being airborne for about 10 minutes, returned to the airport as its landing gear did not retract due to an oil leakage, forcing the pilot to seek an emergency landing, he said.
Among the 127 passengers many were foreigners, including from Japan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, he said, adding they have been accommodated in hotels in and around Bodh Gaya.
A technical team of Air India will arrive on Saturday to rectify the snag, Kumar said, adding the stranded passengers would be sent the same day.
“Mid-air drama: my @airindiain flight from Gaya to Delhi via Varanasi developed problems and made an emergency return to Gaya. Everyone’s OK,” Tharoor, MP from Thiruvananthapuram, said on Twitter.
“Landing gear didn’t retract. Would have been worse if landing gear didn’t descend,” he said in another tweet.
Air India spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.