Nearly a week before smoke emanating from the left wheel of a Delhi-bound IndiGo flight sparked a fire-scare last Wednesday, a Jet Airways flight had to abort take off to Bhopal on August 14 when the pilot noticed the flight panel indicating fire on the right engine.
While the aircraft was returned to the bay and passengers made to deplane, civil defence officials — who were called by airport officials were stopped by a Delhi Police constable for 20 minutes on a “slip road” to the domestic airport, specially designed for emergency.
The CEO of District Disaster Management Authority (Southwest) Pravesh Ranjan Jha, wrote to Joint Commissioner (traffic) Anil Shukla on Monday, complaining about the “obstruction caused by the Delhi Police constable on August 14”. Jha also requested the top traffic officer to “ensure that such instances are not repeated”.
According to the letter, a call about the fire was made by a Delhi International Airport Limited official to the Additional Chief Warden for Civil Defence for Southwest district, Vinod Bhardwaj.
“After receiving the call, (he) rushed to the incident site, but on his way to the airport, he was not allowed to take his vehicle through the slip road near Dwarka underpass. Despite several explanations on his part, (the constable) did not allow his to access the slip way,” the letter stated.
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“It is understood that service lanes play a vital role during emergency operations…, thus mitigating loss to life and property. Stopping the Additional Chief Warden, Civil Defence (Southwest)… depicts an irresponsible act and is unacceptable,” Jha’s letter stated.