An Emirates Airlines flight carrying 206 people from Bangkok to Dubai made an emergency stopover at the Mumbai airport on Wednesday night after its flight commander reported that one of its engines had caught fire.
The aircraft landed on the main runway at 11.36 pm, sixteen minutes after the flight commander sought the ATC’s permission to land. As soon as the aircraft began its descent, the fire bottle in the engine compartments were switched on and the pilots shut down the engine on fire. After it landed and passengers disembarked safely, officials inspected the aircraft but found the fire had been extinguished. “The pilot reported fire in one of the engines but the flight landed safely,” said a spokesperson of the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
Fire tenders, an ambulance and airfield safety vehicles were deployed at the tarmac minutes before the flight landed. After the flight made a safe landing, passengers were allowed to disembark, baggage was offloaded and the aircraft was taken to a remote parking bay for inspection.
For the next 20 minutes, officials inspected the empty aircraft, but found the fire had died down by then. The fire tenders were hence not used, officials said.
At 12: 22 am, the aircraft was declared safe and taken to a hanger facility for maintenance as it was not fit to fly. Meanwhile, the airline flew another aircraft to ferry stranded passengers.
An Emirates spokesperson confirmed the incident. “The alternative aircraft arrived in Mumbai at 6:56 am and the flight left from the city at 8:20 am,” said the spokesperson.
Airport sources added that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will conduct a routine inquiry into the incident and whether the flight crew followed the standard operating procedures laid down when there is a fire on the plane in mid-air.