A major mishap was averted at the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport on Monday morning after a barking deer was crushed under the wheels of Nagpur-Delhi Air India plane, carrying over 80 passengers and crew on board.
According to airport sources, the incident occurred at 9.20am when the flight AI 628 was taking off for Delhi. This is the eighth incident at the airport in the last one month when a wild animal has strayed onto the runaway causing disturbance. Two wild boars had last week come under the wheels of a flight.
VK Yadav, senior station director of the Nagpur airport, informed that all the passengers of Air India were safe and the flight took off 30 minutes late.
He, however, candidly admitted that there were deers, wild boars and stray dogs in the airport vicinity. "We have requested the state forest department to help catch the wild animals," he added. The forest department officials are coming to Nagpur airport on Tuesday for launching a "wild animal" hunt operation.
Earlier, the forest department officials launched a week-long "deer hunt" at the airport and succeeded to catch eight wild animals, including five four-horned antelopes and three barking deer. While one animal died of shock, six animals were released in the neighbouring Hingna forest range. One barking deer was handed over to local Maharajbagh zoo as it needed medical attention.
The forest officials claimed that during the deer capture exercise, the team could not spot a single wild boar, stray dog or pig.
The Nagpur airport was handed over to the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), a couple of years ago to run it as a joint venture company with a substantial share of Airport Authority of India.