Flamingo flock struck by Emirates flight in Mumbai, killing 36 birds | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Flamingo flock struck by Emirates flight in Mumbai, killing 36 birds

May 21, 2024 09:13 AM IST

The flight was on final approach for landing and managed to touch down safely. The aircraft is grounded, and engineers are being flown in to examine the plane

A flock of flamingos collided with an aircraft operated by Emirates late Monday night over the Laxmi Nagar area of Pantnagar, Ghatkopar, resulting in the death of 36 birds, according to forest officials.

One of the downed flamingos. HT Photo
One of the downed flamingos. HT Photo

SY Rama Rao, the Additional Chief Conservator of Forests for the Mangrove Protection Cell, said that the bodies of 36 flamingos were found in the area and that a search had been launched to determine if more flamingos had been killed. He confirmed that the birds were struck by a flight and that the search for affected flamingos was ongoing.

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Deepak Khade, the deputy conservator of the Mangrove Protection Cell, said, "The airport authorities have confirmed to us about the bird strike. This has happened closer to Laxmi Nagar (northern end of Ghatkopar East)."

Prashant Bahadure, a range forest officer with the Mangrove Protection Cell, said, "I went to the airport, but they didn't allow me entry. The airport authorities have told us these flamingos were hit by an Emirates flight. We got a call from the local residents, and the incident may have happened between 8.40 pm and 8.50 pm. Our team was on the spot at 9.15 pm."

An airport source revealed that EK 508, an Emirates flight, reported a bird strike upon arrival at Mumbai airport at 9.18 pm. The flight was on final approach for landing and managed to touch down safely. The aircraft is currently grounded, and engineers are being flown in to examine the plane.

D Stalin, an environmentalist with the NGO Vanashakti, said, "What caused the birds to fly into the aeroplane etc. are being investigated. My theory is the new power lines through the sanctuary area are causing disorientation to the birds. It should have never been permitted. Alternate routes were many. While giving permissions for power lines (earlier it was not allowed inside sanctuaries), the wildlife board meekly surrendered to the power company. Instead, the Thane Creek Wildlife Sanctuary was bulldozed, and towers erected."

Stalin further claimed, "It is also possible that CIDCO, which started this theory of bird hits danger to Navi Mumbai airport, has an indirect connection to this accident. Wetlands in the NRI complex area and TS Chanakya lakes are home to flamingo flocks. Since last month, efforts have been made to disturb the birds there and get the water bodies to be brought under construction. If someone or some people gave chase to the birds out at night, the flocks might have attempted to fly towards Thane Creek and, in the process, met with the accident."

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