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AI Express flight to Kochi evacuated after engine catches fire on taxiway in Muscat

The aircraft with 141 passengers and four infants on board was preparing to depart at 11.20am local time, when another aircraft’s crew reported fumes coming from one of the engines.

Screengrab of video showing smoke billowing from the AI Express Muscat-Kochi flight

Passengers and crew of the IX 442 Air India Express flight from Muscat to Kochi were evacuated on Wednesday after smoke was spotted coming from one of its engines.

The Boeing 737 aircraft with 141 passengers and four infants on board was preparing to depart from the Oman capital at 11.20am local time, when another aircraft’s crew reported fumes coming from one of the engines.

The crew then stopped the flight on the taxiway and activated onboard engine-fire extinguishers, after which the passengers were evacuated using slides, an Air India Express spokesperson said.

Some passengers sustained minor bruises in the process, and a female passenger was taken to a clinic at the airport, according to officials.

The passengers were brought to the airport terminal building. A Mumbai-Dubai Air India Express flight will go to Muscat and fly the stranded passengers to Kochi at 9.20pm local time, the airline said.

A source in Air India Express said that the smoke alarms did not go off and there was no fire-warning indication in the cockpit. “Crew from an aeroplane behind the Air India Express flight saw the smoke and alerted. It may have been due to some residue in the engine,’’ the source said.

Arun Kumar, director-general of civil aviation, said appropriate action would be taken after an investigation.

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Air India Express said its local management and support staff were extending all help to the guests at Muscat. The matter is being investigated also by the airline’s flight safety department.

First published on: 14-09-2022 at 03:49:47 pm
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