Patna/New Delhi: Flight, fire and fear. Words that don’t go well together at all. The worst nightmare of a flight passenger came to life when a Delhi-bound aircraft, with 185 fliers on board, was forced to make an emergency landing at Jayprakash Narayan International Airport in Patna after one of its wings caught fire. The Spicejet Flight SG723 took off from Patna airport on Sunday at 12 noon and it returned again to the airport after 25 minutes.Also Read – Explained: What Are Bird Strikes And How Dangerous Are They?
The period when passengers and crew realised that the flight was on fire to when it landed safely was nearly 22 minutes. But these 22 minutes were the longest and hardest moments for some of them. Hear it from the passengers themselves: Also Read – DGCA Alerts Airports A Day After Two Birds Hit Planes, Asks To Take Steps To Minimize Risks
“The flight took off at Patna airport. After travelling for 25 minutes, we realized that it was returning back to Patna. There was some panic inside the aircraft,” said a passenger, Rajesh Sharma. Another passenger who was sitting on the left side of the plane on the window seat said: “I saw smoke and fire coming out from the left engine. It was scary but we thought that there were so many passengers in the plane and God certainly helped us.” The airline company later provided another aircraft for the passengers to fly to New Delhi. Also Read – Captain Monica Khanna’s Sully Moment: Hailed For Overweight Landing Of SpiceJet Flight Boeing 737
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Some passengers said they felt tremors inside the plane soon after the take-off and the lights started turning off. “I tried to tell others about it, but nobody paid attention at the time. We flew like that for 20-25 minutes. Anything could have happened. We were just praying to God. The pilots did a wonderful job. They should be awarded,” said Madhav Pandey, former district judge, Chhapra to Dainik Bhaskar.
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An airport official said that the fire was reported by an onlooker at a time when the aircraft was flying over Phulwarisharif locality. The local resident of Phulwarisharif informed Patna police, who further communicated to airport authority. The airport officials contacted the ATC officials who further informed the pilot about the incident.