IndiGo plane starts smouldering during take-off in Patna, lucky escape for 174
As the plane was stuck on the runway, air operations had to be stalled until further notice. This resulted in many BJP leaders, including party leader Sushil Kumar Modi, getting stranded at the airport. They were heading to Delhi for the GST launch.patna Updated: Jul 10, 2017 08:29 IST
As many as 174 passengers aboard an IndiGo flight had a lucky escape after pilots detected smoke billowing out of an engine while it was preparing to take off from the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan airport in Patna on Friday evening.
Passengers on board Flight 6E-508 from Patna to Delhi were immediately evacuated through the emergency exit as fire tenders rushed to the scene around 5.50 pm. None of the passengers were injured.
Airport sources said a propeller blade of the aircraft came off, causing the engine to spew smoke.
“Flight 6E-508 (Patna-Delhi) was involved in a low-speed reject due to suspected engine stall,” an IndiGo communiqué said. “After the crew detected smoke in the passenger cabin, the captain decided to evacuate the plane as a precautionary measure. All standard operating procedures were carried out efficiently, and the evacuation was completed in 60 seconds.”
IndiGo maintained that there was no tyre burst or engine fire. “The matter has been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and an internal inquiry has been initiated,” it said, adding that no technical snag was reported when the aircraft arrived at Patna.
The DGCA is understood to have ordered a separate inquiry into the incident.
As the plane was stuck on the runway, all air operations had to be stalled until 8.30 pm. This resulted in a number of BJP leaders – including Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and Jehanabad MP Arun Kumar – getting stranded at the airport.
They were heading to New Delhi to attend the GST rollout function.
Sources said the plane carrying Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, who was returning from Ranchi after appearing in court over a fodder scam case, could not land either.
“The plane developed left-engine failure. It was brought to one of the parking bays after a thorough check-up,” said airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria.
Flight operations were restored at 9 pm, after being held up for more than three hours. Over six flights from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow and Ranchi were delayed, but none of them had to be cancelled.
Two planes were diverted due to the incident. While a Jet Airways (New Delhi-Patna) flight was redirected to Varanasi, the IndiGo Delhi-Ranchi-Patna flight had to be sent back to Ranchi after take-off. Both the flights landed here after 10 pm.