Muscat/New Delhi: Passengers onboard an Air India flight bound for Kochi were evacuated after smoke was detected on the aircraft while it was on the runway. The incident happened when a Boeing 737-800 aircraft was taxiing at Muscat airport to take off.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said that the cabin of the Air India flight was filled with smoke after its engine number 2 caught fire. “All 147 passengers, including four infants and six crew members were safely evacuated via slides on the aircraft. The Air India flight was scheduled to fly from Muscat in Oman to Cochin in India,” a statement said.
“No injuries have been reported and they have been transported to the terminal building,” an official said.
The video of Air India engulfed in smoke went viral on social media soon after the incident. The video showed the Air India aircraft, amid a thick white smoke, surrounded by the airport staff.
“Relief flight will be organised,” the DGCA said in a statement
The Tata group owns the Air India Express, which used to be a government carrier till a few months ago. Billed as India’s first international budget carrier, it mainly connects to the Middle East/West Asia, besides Southeast Asia.
An Air India Express aircraft operating from Calicut to Dubai had to be diverted to Muscat a couple of months ago when passengers observed burning smell. No serious damage was found.
An IndiGo flight from Delhi to Vadodara was diverted to Jaipur as a precautionary measure following unusual vibrations in the engine. Another IndiGo flight from Sharjah to Hyderabad diverted to Karachi in Pakistan after the pilot reported a technical defect in the aircraft. That, too, was a precautionary landing and all the passengers were safely brought to Hyderabad in an alternate flight.
A Go First flight from Delhi to Guwahati was diverted to Jaipur after a layer of the aircraft’s windshield cracked mid-air. This was the third incident of technical malfunction on a Go First aircraft in two days.