Passengers on a Delhi-bound IndiGo Airlines flight from Mumbai had a scare on Saturday evening after the pilot aborted take-off at the last minute.
While the airline said take-off was cancelled owing to a ‘technical snag’, some passengers said they saw sparks coming from the engine.
“The captain of flight 6E-248 observed a technical snag during takeoff. Hence, the plane was brought back to the bay as a precautionary measure. Some passengers said they observed a flash of light, but the crew did not report a fire,” said an IndiGo spokesperson, who added that all passengers and staff were safe.
“The aircraft was grounded for a technical inspection. The IndiGo flight safety department is conducting a preliminary investigation. The matter has been brought to the notice of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” added the spokesperson.
Airfield sources said they noticed sparks from the engine exhaust. “There was a loud thud from one of the engines soon after takeoff. Initial inspection revealed that the engine’s turbine blades had sustained damage.”
According to DGCA rules, airline crew must conduct an evacuation if there is a fire. “We will probe whether the crew followed the fire drill if the allegations prove to be true,” said a senior DGCA official requesting anonymity.
Air safety experts pointed out that false alarms have led to panic and hurt fliers in the past. In August 2010, 25 passengers on-board a Jet Airways flight suffered injuries, including four fractures, while sliding off emergency chutes following a fire-induced evacuation, according to the aviation safety regulator’s probe.