Passengers and crew on board the Dubai-bound flight of Air India's low budget carrier had some anxious moments Saturday night after the airplane was called back as it was taxiing for take-off at the Bajpe airport.
Air India Express's Boeing 737-800(AI IX 811) was called back by the Air Traffic Control(ATC) after a traffic controller got a telephone call from an unidentified person to say a fire was noticed on the tail-side of the plane, an Air India official said.
It was not immediately known how many passengers were on the plane but some reports said there were 134 passengers.
Following the call, the plane was called back as it was taxiing for take-off at about 9.30 PM and a thorough check was undertaken, the official said. Fire tenders were also positioned around the plane.
The plane was cleared for take-off at 10.55 PM delaying the departure of the flight by about 90 minutes.
The official said the pilot of the plane had also not reported any fire alarm in the cockpit. The possibility of the call being a hoax was not ruled out. The call was also being investigated.
With memories of an Air India Express plane from Dubai overshooting the table-top runway at the Mangalore airport and plunging over a cliff into a wooded valley killing 158 persons on May 22 still fresh, tonight's incident led to some scare among the passengers.