Close Shave for 152 Passengers as Tyres of Air India Flight Burst
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two tyres of an Air India Airbus 320 burst on landing at the international airport here creating a scare among the passengers.The AI 264 Male-Chennai flight via Thiruvananthapuram had 152 persons on board, none of whom was injured in the incident.
The Air Traffic Control and the fire service watchtower spotted the fault immediately after the aircraft touched down around 12.40 pm.“The ATC detected that two wheels had burst, though there was no smoke or flames. The pilot was asked to stop and the aircraft braked at the turning on the taxiway to the international terminal,” said Shibu Roberts, director-in-charge of the airport.
Four fire tenders of the Airport Fire Service reached near the aircraft in two minutes. By then the contingency plan was fully operational. The passengers were asked to alight as the plane could not taxi from the runway.
The runway remained closed for 1.20 hours during which the aircraft was pulled towards the exit taxiway.
The departure of a Mumbai-bound Jet Airways flight was delayed for around an hour. “No bump was felt. But we heard a screeching sound and figured out something has gone wrong,” said a passenger. “Most of the passengers to Thiruvananthapuram were medical travellers,” she said. The airport director-in-charge said the exact cause for the fault was yet to be ascertained. “The reasons may vary from an excess force while landing, variation in tyre pressure or a faulty sideways movement. The matter has been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation which will probe the incident,” Roberts said. The passengers who were accommodated in hotels resumed their journey in the afternoon.
A relief flight with new tyres and wheel drums landed in the evening and repair has started.