The crew members, including two pilots, of the Chennai-bound Jet Airways plane which had a fire scare at the Mumbai airport last night were suspended. This was after a probe found serious procedural lapses.
“There were serious procedural lapses in dealing with the emergency and evacuation situation by the operating aircraft crew members. This incident has been treated as serious incident and will be investigated,” said a release sent by the civil aviation ministry.
The suspended crew include both the pilots, including the commander, four cabin crew members and four additional cabin crew members.
A preliminary inquiry by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also said the engine never caught fire. DGCA has removed the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Digital Flight Data Recorder to analyse the recordings of voices and other parameters of the Boeing 737 aircraft.
Fourteen passengers were injured in the evacuation when 141 passengers, including an infant, were deplaned using emergency chutes and services after the pilot reported fire in one of the engines. The handling of the situation also came under attack from passengers, some of whom said they were virtually thrown out of the aircraft. Proper evacuation procedures were not followed and in the sudden surge of passengers, many of them were injured.
On its part, Jet Airways maintained that the crew of the Mumbai-Chennai flight initiated a precautionary evacuation on the taxiway due to suspected fire around the left engine.
“The precautionary evacuation was carried out in the interest of the safety of the guests and the crew. The crew carried out the evacuation in accordance with standard operating procedures,” a release from the airline said.
After the accident, DGCA called a meeting of the heads of training of all airlines to review the training procedures of cabin and flight crews, particularly in emergency and evacuation procedures.