The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Monday blamed budget carrier IndiGo for negligence that caused injuries to a passenger who fell off her wheelchair while being assisted by the airline's staff at Lucknow airport.
The development comes a day after IndiGo apologised to the passenger for the incident which happened on Saturday. IndiGo that time described the vehicular lane which was used to assist the passenger as "dimly lit" with a "deep crack on the tarmac".
According to the state-run company which operates and manages Lucknow airport, the incident happened due to the negligence of IndiGo's staff, as he chose a wrong path on the tarmac.
"The IndiGo loader ferrying the passenger in the wheelchair, went in the wrong direction by taking a shortcut ignoring the defined path," the AAI said in a statement.
"As per IndiGo's loader involved in this incident, the passenger (on wheelchair) was carrying a four-knob walking stick. The passenger placed her walking stick on the road while the loader was still pushing the wheelchair. This resulted in the unfortunate incident of the passenger falling from the wheelchair," the state-run firm said.
AAI said that the entire area in which the incident occurred was "having sufficient illumination".
"AAI would like to put on record that the reasons given by IndiGo of the wheelchair getting stuck in the crack on the road and claims of dim light are not correct as there is no crack on the tarmac and the area has sufficient illumination."
On its part, IndiGo, in a late-night statement on Sunday, said: "We apologise to Ms Urvashi Parikh Viren for the mishap which occurred at the Lucknow airport yesterday at 8 pm."
"Our IndiGo representative was pushing her wheelchair towards the arrival hall. As he was guiding her wheelchair through a vehicular lane, which was dimly lit at that time of the night, her wheelchair got stuck in a deep crack on the tarmac and lost balance and she fell off her wheelchair," the airline had said in a statement.
"Parikh was injured and immediately rushed to the doctor of the Airports Authority of India. He administered first aid to her."
The airline said that the passenger was kind enough to say that it was not a human error and "we should deal with the staff with empathy when we de-brief our loader. We promised to do so".
Lately, the airline is under flak after it had apologised to a passenger who was manhandled at Delhi airport in October.