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Delhi-bound SpiceJet plane catches fire midway, makes emergency landing in Patna, all safe

A senior SpiceJet official told a news agency that a SpiceJet B737-800 aircraft was operating from Patna to Delhi. On takeoff, during rotation, the cockpit crew suspected a bird hit on one of the engines.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

A major tragedy was averted when a Delhi-bound aircraft, with 185 passengers on board, was forced to make an emergency landing at Jayprakash Narayan International Airport in Patna after one of the wings caught fire. All the passengers plus the flight crew were safely rescued.

A senior SpiceJet official told a news agency that a SpiceJet B737-800 aircraft was operating from Patna to Delhi. On takeoff, during rotation, the cockpit crew suspected a bird hit on one of the engines.

“As a precautionary measure and as per SOP, the captain shut down the affected engine and decided to return to Patna,” the official said, adding that the aircraft landed safely in Patna, and passengers were safely deboarded. Post-flight inspection showed a bird hit with 3 fan blades got damaged.

The flight took off from Patna airport on Sunday at 12 noon and it returned again to the airport after 25 minutes.

The airport official said the fire was reported by an onlooker at a time when the aircraft was flying over Phulwarisharif’s locality.

The local resident of Phulwari Sharif informed Patna police which further communicated to the airport authority. The airport officials contacted the ATC officials who further informed the pilot about the incident.

“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. The reason is a technical glitch, engineering team analyzing further,”  Chandrashekhar Singh, Patna District Magistrate told media persons.

“The flight took off at Patna airport. After travelling for 25 minutes, we realized that it was returning back to Patna. There was some panic inside the aircraft,” said a passenger, Rajesh Sharma.

Another passenger who was sitting on the left side of the plane on the window seat said: “I saw smoke and fire coming out from the left engine. It was scary but we thought that there were so many passengers in the plane and God certainly helped us.”

The airline company has provided another aircraft for the passengers to fly to New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also issued a statement sharing similar details.

Taking note of the incident, Patna airport Director said that an alternate flight is being arranged by SpiceJet airlines.

“Another flight is being arranged by SpiceJet airlines. This incident is a matter of investigation,” Director, Patna airport said.