Close shave for Manipur CM, 177 others as bird hits Air India flight
A Delhi-Imphal Air India flight carrying 178 passengers, including Manipur chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh, had a close shave when it was hit by a bird over Guwahati on Friday afternoon.
Though the plane (AI-889) was damaged, the pilots managed to land it safely at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport. The flight’s onward journey was cancelled after the mishap, which occurred around 3.45 pm, airport officials said.
Singh said the aircraft suffered the bird-hit moments before landing. “There was a loud noise, and the plane shook briefly just as the flight was descending. I was later told that the bird had caused a hole on the right side of the cockpit,” he added.
The chief minister took to Twitter to complain about Air India’s alleged lack of concern for the stranded passengers. “They did not provide the passengers with any food. Some passengers were asked to check into a hotel, but the hotel management said it was not intimated in this regard. So I asked the hotel management to book rooms for the passengers in my name,” Singh tweeted.
Singh said he had a chat with civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, but was told that a flight can be arranged only by Saturday because the Imphal airport lacks night-landing facilities.
“We are taking good care of the passengers,” an official at the local Air India office said.