NEW DELHI -- An Air India flight from Varanasi reportedly caught fire around 7.58 pm on Monday while making an emergency landing in Delhi. The plane had apparently developed a hydraulic failure, reported NDTV, and after the pilot decided to make an emergency landing, applying full brakes, it resulted in a fire in the plane's undercarriage. Air India meanwhile in a statement has denied there was a fire.
Air India flight from Varanasi catches fire during landing at Delhi airport, all 153 passengers safe— NDTV (@ndtv) September 7, 2015
There were 153 people on board the Khajuraho-Varanasi-Delhi flight, including 146 passengers. The pilot reportedly saw smoke coming out of the undercarriage of the plane, and opted for immediate evacuation. Everyone was evacuated from the plane and are reported to be safe. 11 people including two elderly women suffered injuries, reported Times Now, while The Times of India put the number at 20. Meanwhile Air India has denied that there were any injuries or even a fire on the 1994-make Airbus A-320 (VT-ESI).
"Air India flight AI 405 Varanasi-Delhi had an emergency landing due to hydraulic leak. This resulted in a few sparks at the nose wheel. There was no fire. All 146 passengers were evacuated safely and taken to the terminal building. No passenger was injured. Runway 27 has now been cleared. All the passengers are being served dinner and taken care of," according to a statement issued by the airline.
The aircraft was then towed away after a Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) firefighting team doused the wheels of the plane.
Meanwhile, Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani has said the real cause behind the incident will be known only after a thorough investigation.
Aviation regulator DGCA will conduct an inquiry besides an internal probe by the concerned airliner. Lohani, however, insisted as far at the maintenance of the aircraft was concerned "there was no laxity".