Lucky escape for 174 IndiGo passengers 174 passengers have lucky escape as IndiGo flight takeoff aborted at Patna airport
The pilots aborted the Indigo flight 6E 508 take off at the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan airport here on Friday, after detecting smoke billowing out of one of the plane’s engines.Updated:
PATNA A total of 174 passengers on board an Indigo flight had a lucky escape when its pilots aborted the plane’s takeoff after detecting smoke billowing out of one of its engines, at the Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan airport here on Friday evening.
Passengers on board Indigo flight 6E 508 from Patna to Delhi were immediately evacuated through the emergency exit, as crash fire tenders were rushed to the runway. The flight was on the runway, preparing for takeoff at 5.50 pm, when pilots detected the smoke coming out from one of its engines.
An IndiGo communique said, “flight 6E-508 (Patna-Delhi) was involved in a low speed reject due to suspected engine stall. As smoke was observed in cabin by the cabin crew, the captain elected to evacuate due to precautionary reasons. All SOPs were carried out efficiently. Evacuation was completed in 60 seconds.
“There was no tyre burst or engine fire. The matter has been reported to DGCA proactively. An internal enquiry has also been initiated.
“There were 174 passengers on board. All passengers are safe. There was no technical snag reported when aircraft arrived at Patna. At IndiGo, safety of the passengers, crew and the aircraft is the top priority and at no time it can be compromised.”
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is understood to have ordered a separate inquiry into the incident.
Airport sources said a portion of the blade of its jet reportedly came off, causing the smoke from its engine.
With the aircraft struck on the runway, the Patna airport authorities had stalled all air operations till 8.30 pm. It had issued a notice to airmen (NOTAM), informing about the closure.
Many BJP leaders, including Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi and Jehanabad MP Arun Kumar, who were going to attend the GST rollout programme in New Delhi, got stuck at the airport.
Sources said that the plane carrying RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who was returning from Ranchi after appearing in court in a fodder scam case, could not land.
Airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria said, “The plane had developed left engine failure. After a thorough check-up, it was started on one engine and brought to one of the parking bays.”
Flight operations, which were temporarily suspended at the airport, were restored at 9pm, after over three hours of holdup.
Lahauria said some seven flights, including those from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow and Ranchi, were delayed but none cancelled.
Among the two planes diverted were Jet Airways New Delhi-Patna flight, which was sent to Varanasi, and IndiGo Delhi-Ranchi-Patna flight — sent back to Ranchi after takeoff. Both the flights landed here after 10pm.
Due to the incident, the plane carrying RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who was returning from Ranchi, could not land.
Many BJP leaders, who were going to attend GST rollout, in New Delhi, got stuck at the airport
Airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria told HT: “We are trying to clear the runway as fast as possible, though this may take some time.”
At least four scheduled flights and three on the tarmac had been affected because of temporary closure of operations.