SpiceJet plane makes emergency landing after wing catches fire
A SpiceJet plane, which was a Boeing 737-800, was forced to make an emergency landing at Patna's Bihta Airforce Station on Sunday after its left wing caught fire, India Today reported. Officials said that all 185 passengers on board were safe. They said a big tragedy was prevented because of timely notice by Phulwari Sharif residents who alerted the airport authorities.
What did officials say about the incident?
"Flames were seen on the left wing of the aircraft. It landed immediately. Two blades were bent. People of Phulwari Sharif saw the flames and alerted the airport authorities," said Patna District Magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh. He went on to say that the fire was caused by a suspected technological error and that the engineering team was still looking into it.
How did passengers describe the events?
One of the passengers stated that they sensed something was wrong with the plane from the moment it took off from Patna at 12:30 pm. "The lights inside the aircraft began flickering during the journey. We felt something was wrong right from the time the flight took off," said another passenger said. "This is entirely the negligence of SpiceJet," they alleged.
Evacuation operation started immediately with help of police
The plane reportedly struggled to reach a normal flying height and before an emergency landing, it was in the air for about 25 minutes. The police and airport workers came alongside the plane immediately after it landed and evacuated passengers safely. Meanwhile, Priyanka Chaturvedi, the head of the Shiv Sena, responded to the event by claiming it was "playing with the lives of people."
How did SpiceJet respond to the incident?
"On June 19, 2022, SpiceJet B737-800 aircraft was operating SG-723 (Patna-Delhi). On takeoff, during rotation, the cockpit crew suspected a bird hit Engine #1," said a SpiceJet spokesperson. "Captain shut down the affected engine and decided to return to Patna as a precautionary measure as per the SOP," they said. The post-flight inspection indicated a bird hit with three fan blades damaged, they added.