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Rahul Gandhi gets call from PM Narendra Modi after mid-air flight scare

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Rahul Gandhi from China where he is attending an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 27, 2018 11:58:34 pm
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Express Photos)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dialled Congress president Rahul Gandhi after learning about the Opposition leader’s mid-air scare during his flight from New Delhi to Hubli, where he is campaigning for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections. Gandhi landed around Thursday noon and Modi called him soon after.

Prime Minister Modi is currently in China for an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “Prime Minister Modi himself called Rahul. They spoke for a while,” a Congress party source said.

In a complaint to the Karnataka DGP, the Congress said there were multiple unexplained technical failures during the flight and that a thorough probe was required until which the special aircraft would be grounded.

“At around 10.45 am, the aircraft suddenly tilted heavily on the left side and the altitude dipped steeply, combined with violent shuddering of the aircraft body. It is apparent from the suspicious and faulty performance of aircraft that the incidents of shuddering and altitude dropping were not natural or weather relate but due to technical snag of aircraft. Serious questions related to intentional tampering cannot be brushed aside,” the complaint stated.

Another complaint was filed by the party with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), demanding a thorough inquiry into the incident. “The operator has reported the incident to us. According to the report, it was a snag in the auto-pilot mode. The pilot shifted to the manual (mode) and (the aircraft) landed safely,” a senior DGCA official said. “Shutdown of the auto-pilot (mode) is not uncommon. For a VIP flight, the DGCA examines it thoroughly. We shall do that in this case as well,” a DGCA official said. A two-member team has been setup to investigate what went wrong.

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