A Jet Airways shuttle bus drove into a stationary Air India aircraft early on Tuesday morning at the Kolkata airport, causing a momentary scare. However, an official said there were no casualties.
The mishap occurred around 5.40am after the driver allegedly fell asleep at the wheel, causing the bus to go off the track and hitting the aircraft -- an ATR 42 plane – that was parked on bay number 32 on its right side.
The driver of the bus was arrested immediately and is being interrogated by various agencies at the airport. According to Air India, the aircraft was scheduled to fly to Silchar from Kolkata. “We will come out with a detailed statement after sometime,” an Air India spokesperson told HT.
Sources at the airport said the driver -- identified as Momin Ali during preliminary interrogation -- told investigators he fell asleep while driving and thus swerved out of the designated path and crashed into the aircraft.
Officials ruled out any possibility of the accident connected with visibility issue as no fog was observed on Tuesday morning.
“A probe has been ordered to be conducted by regional safety manager, Directorate General of Civil Aviation,” Kolkata Airport director AK Sharma said.
Sources told HT that Jet Airways may have to pay a substantial amount, to Air India as compensation for the damage.
The incident comes less than a week after a technician was sucked into the engine of another Air India aircraft, highlighting the lacunae in security measures when a flight is still on the ground. Preliminary reports pointed strongly to a lapse in following standard operating procedures. The airliner has constituted an investigation panel to look into the matter.