In one of its worst technical failures, India’s largest and newest airport terminal — T3 at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport — plunged into complete darkness due to disruption in power supply for about four hours early Sunday morning.
The diesel generator-run power back-up system also packed up within a few minutes, bringing the check-in facility, immigration service, baggage delivery, escalators and aerobridges to a complete halt."It was really scary inside. It was suffocating and there was no light inside and outside the arrival and departure terminals except a few streetlights. All we could hear were wailing kids and the public information system," said a passenger, who did not want to be identified.
While the disruption took place at 1.25am, it took the airport authorities more than four hours to restore the supply. Sources said there were more than 2,500 persons inside the terminal when the power went supply off.
More than 1,000 passengers were told to stay outside the terminal. Sixty-six departing flights — including 25 international departures — were delayed, some by 5-6 hours, while 11 arriving flights (only one domestic) got delayed.
Officials of the Delhi International Airport Limited — the company operating the airport — said the power transformer feeding the terminal tripped, leading to interruption in power supply.
“Though the back-up diesel generator (DG) sets were automatically activated, as soon as the DG sets synchronized, a spark occurred and the DG sets were disconnected from the system as a safety measure,” a DIAL spokesman said.