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AI Express B737 engine catches fire at Muscat airport, all 141 evacuated

Plane was taxiing towards runway when crew of another aircraft noticed fumes, alerted pilots

Topics
air india express | Directorate General of Civil Aviation | Aviation industry

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 



Air India
Photo: Bloomberg

As many as 141 passengers were evacuated from an Express plane at the Muscat airport on Wednesday after and smoke were noticed in one of the engines. Fourteen of the passengers suffered minor bruises during the emergency evacuation on the taxiway.

The Kochi-bound Boeing 737 aircraft was taxiing towards the runway when its pilots were alerted about fumes in the right engine by the crew of another aircraft.

The pilots carried out the checklist, switched the engines off and activated the on-board extinguishers. engines from the airport rushed to the spot.

Slides were deployed and passengers were evacuated.

Express said there was no fire warning indication in the cockpit.

“The matter is being investigated by the regulatory authorities and the airline’s flight safety department,” it said.

A relief flight was arranged to bring the passengers back.

The aircraft fire will be investigated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Oman (CAA) keeping the Indian civil aviation regulator in the loop.

The (DGCA), too, will carry out “regulatory investigation” to ascertain causes.

A source said mixing of lubricating oil with engine exhaust gases might have caused the fire.

According to International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO’s) norms, an event is classified as an accident if there is a fatal or serious injury to passengers or if the aircraft involved suffers damage or structural failure.

In its statement, the Omani CAA referred to the event as an accident and said it was following up the developments along with the authorities concerned.

Videos and images on social media showed smoke emanating from the plane parked at the Muscat airport.

In a statement, an spokesperson said the plane was to depart Muscat at 11.20 am local time (which is 12.50 pm India time).

said full support was extended by Muscat Airport authorities and the passengers were brought to the terminal building. There are no major injuries reported, except for minor bruises to some passengers while evacuating.

An official at the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) said that due to the incident, flight IX475 from Kochi to Doha had been delayed.

According to the latest update provided by the CIAL official, the rescheduled IX442 flight from Muscat would arrive at Kochi at 2.30 am on September 15 and later leave for Doha as flight IX475 at 3.15 am.

Trouble in the skies

In June, a Delhi-bound SpiceJet Boeing 737 made an emergency landing at Patna airport. A bird hit after take-off had resulted in sparks and fire in one of its engines.

In recent weeks, meanwhile, there have been instances of engine glitches or snags with aircraft autopilot resulting in aircraft returning to base.

  1. Air turn-back due to engine vibration: An IndiGo aircraft heading to Udaipur returned to Delhi due to vibrations in the engine
  2. Autopilot snag: A Nashik-bound SpiceJet aircraft returned to Delhi due to a snag in autopilot
  3. Whistling sound in cockpit: A Mumbai-bound Vistara aircraft returned to Delhi after a whistling sound was heard on the right side of the Boeing 737 cockpit

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First Published: Wed, September 14 2022. 21:07 IST

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