A major tragedy was averted when a Delhi-bound Spicejet aircraft, whose left engine caught fire after takeoff following a bird hit, turned back and landed safely in Patna.
There were 185 passengers aboard the flight. Locals on the ground, who were shooting videos of the plane, first noticed the sparks coming out from the left engine and alerted the district and airport officials.
Sources at the aviation regulator DGCA told the media that a bird hit had caused a fire in one engine of the aircraft. The pilots then shut down the engine as per the procedure and landed safely at Patna airport, said officials.
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Chandrashekhar Singh, Patna district magistrate told media persons that the Delhi-bound flight had returned to Patna airport after locals noticed a fire in the aircraft and informed district and airport officials. All 185 passengers were safely deboarded, he said, adding that the reason is a technical glitch and the engineering team was analysing it further.
Patna’s airport director also confirmed that a SpiceJet flight from Patna to Delhi was reported to have had one engine on fire. “The flight landed safely, and all 183 passengers and two infants have deboarded safely,” he told the media.
More details are awaited.