Saudi plane makes emergency landing
report Lalatendu Mishra & Soubhik Mitra.Updated: Feb 09, 2007, 06:38 IST
A Saudi Arabian Airlines aircraft with 368 passengers on board did a priority landing at the Mumbai International airport on Thursday afternoon after one of its engines failed soon after take off. Under emergency situations, the Boeing 747-300 aircraft landed safely without any injury caused to passengers.
Confirming the incident MG Junghare, chief of Air Traffic Control western region said, "Out of the aircraft's four engines, one engine failed soon after take off. As a result there was a cut off of 25 per cent power to the aircraft. This is a normal situation and there is nothing to panic."
An airport spokesman said that the SV 741 Mumbai-Dammam-Jeddah flight took off at 2.15 pm against its schedule departure of 1.55 pm and soon after the pilot sought permission for priority landing.
"As a standard procedure we had to press emergency measures including fire brigade, ambulance and CISF personnel to meet any emergency situation but the aircraft landed safely at 2.56 pm," the airport spokesman said.
Before coming back to land at Mumbai the aircraft had to almost empty its fuel tanks and dumped fuel in the sea to prevent any possible fire accidents during priority landing.
A Saudi Arabian Airlines administrative official on the condition of anonymity said, "There was technical snag and the aircraft was turned back to Mumbai. Our engineers are working on it. All the passengers have been taken care of."
In three hours the aircraft was made flying worthy at it took off along with the passengers at 7.02 pm. The scheduled arrival time at Dammam was 8.35 pm.
When the problem was being attended passengers were brought to the airport lounge for refreshments.
In a coincidence, Mumbai was griped with rumours of a plane catching fire and crashing into the Arabian sea off the coast of Mumbai. This was between the time when the Saudi Arabian Airline aircraft took off and finally turned back to Mumbai airport for landing.
Eyewitnesses at Juhu told our photographer that they came out after hearing three huge sounds at 2.20 pm and saw an aircraft flying very close to the sea level and fire emanating from below the aircraft.
A group of auto rickshaw drivers and gate-keepers near the Juhu aerodrome told this correspondent that they heard loud bang at around 2.45 pm as an aircraft flew overhead. There was also a rumour of a small plane crashing into the sea.
But airport officials and the police denied any such incidents. "There was only one priority landing at the Mumbai airport and no other incident has taken place today. We don't have any information about any crash," said DV Sidam, senior inspector, airport police station.