Engine of Riyadh-bound Air India plane on fire, all safe


Mumbai : Over 215 passengers and crew of a Riyadh-bound Air India flight had a narrow escape here Friday morning when they were evacuated quickly after one of the aircraft’s engines caught fire while proceeding for take-off.

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The ground staff noticed the fire and smoke from the engine around 10:30 a.m. while the aircraft had just begun to taxi toward the runway, but it was immediately doused, Air India spokesperson Jitendra Bhargava said.

The AI-829 flight, deployed on a Boeing 747-437 aircraft named “Konark”, was bound for Saudi Arabia’s capital from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport.

“The fire was in one of the engines. It was noticed during push back (during the taxiing after doors were ordered shut). It was immediately extinguished. All 213 passengers plus crew were evacuated. They are all safe,” Bhargava told IANS.

“The passengers will be sent to Riyadh later today,” he said, adding: “The cause of fire is being ascertained.”

According to the ground staff at the airport, the fire was noticed on the engine fitted below the left wing of the aircraft of 1993 vintage. It was immediately brought to a halt and emergency services alerted.

The passengers were evacuated by making them slide through the exit doors and were later taken to the terminal building as the fire was being brought under control by the fire brigade services at the airport.