CHENNAI: More than 190 passengers travelling in Delhi-bound Spicejet aircraft had a miraculous escape after the aircraft's tyre burst during touch down at the Chennai airport on Thursday.
The flight took off at 1.40 pm and the issue came to notice only after air traffic control personnel noticed hydraulic fluids on the runway. By the time officials alerted the pilots, the plane was nearing Vijayawada and since the airport over there didn't have the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the landing, it was asked to return to Chennai.
While landing, the tyre burst and the tarmac got damaged. Airport director G Chandramouli told Express, “We had kept the fire service and other personnel ready. Immediately after it landed, we took all precautions to prevent any mishaps."
A statement from Spicejet said the passengers were deplaned safely and were taken to the terminal building.
However, the stranded the Spicejet aircraft blocked the main runway and as a result, more than 20 flights were delayed.
The emergency landing of SG106 and consequent damage to main runway led to several delays and diverted flights. The list of the flights affected are attached. Inconvenience caused to our esteemed passengers is sincerely regretted. @AAI_Official pic.twitter.com/aVs9jfNByy— Chennai(MAA) Airport (@aaichnairport) February 8, 2018
The landing delay also caused a minor flutter when an Ethiopian cargo flight sent in a SoS for an emergency landing as it was running low on fuel. The air traffic controllers directed the Ethiopian flight to land in the secondary runway which was made operational since the SpiceJet blocked the main runway.
The operations in the main runway have resumed after airport staff successfully towed the Spicejet aircraft.
Chennai Airport last month become the second airport in India to start simultaneous operations from the main runway and secondary runway.