Over 100 passengers and crew of GoAir flight G8 802 from Ahmedabad to Bengaluru were evacuated early on Tuesday at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, after the right engine of the aircraft caught fire during take-off, allegedly due to a bird-hit.
The incident occurred around 9.20 am when the GoAir flight was on a take-off roll on the runway. All the passengers and crew were evacuated safely, officials said.
“The right engine of GoAir flight G8 802 is suspected to have suffered a foreign object damage (FOD) while on take-off roll. The suspected FOD resulted in a small fire that was doused. All passengers and crew are safe and no emergency evacuation was deemed necessary. The aircraft is being towed off the runway after which passengers will be deplaned. The FOD has been confirmed to be due to bird-hit. The aircraft is being inspected by the GoAir engineering team,” said a spokesperson for GoAir.
According to Manoj Gangal, director of SVPI airport, sparks coming out of GoAir aircraft were first noticed by the Air Traffic Control (ATC).
“As soon as ATC apprised the flight crew about the sparks, all passengers and crew were taken out using a ladder from the aircraft,” said Gangal. Multiple fire tender vehicles were deployed to douse the fire.
Following the incident, nine domestic flights that were scheduled for departure between 10 am and noon were delayed.
Passengers who were present on the aircraft blamed the GoAir for “mismanagement”. “We were stationed on the runway for more than an hour and were not even apprised about the situation. There is utter chaos at the airport and we have been told that our flight has been rescheduled to 2.30 pm. Many passengers have also been told that they will be given full refund but we have wasted an entire day,” said Gaurav Bhargava (36), an Ahmedabad-based resident who was travelling to Bengaluru.
GoAir refused to share the exact number of passengers in the aircraft, however, eye witnesses said that over 100 persons were present in the flight.
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