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2 flights abort landing, a few delayed as cow strays near

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A cow strayed near the runway at airport early this morning forcing at least two international flights to abort landing and divert to

Some other flights were delayed because of the incident.

An Etihad flight from to and a cargo plane were diverted to when their pilots spotted a cow near the runway at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, sources said.

confirmed the incident, while the Airports Authority of has sought a probe into it.

A of the Airports Authority of said the animal entered the "operational area" of the airport and there was danger that it could stray towards the runway.

It was a "freak incident" that took place at 3:00 am when a gate was opened for two vehicles and the cow followed them, he said, adding the personnel manning the gate should have been more vigilant.

Airport sources said personnel and other staff used scare-guns and sticks to drive the cow out of the operational area.

It took about one-and-a-half hours to get the cow out. By that time, two flights had to be diverted to and five arrivals, and a few departures were delayed, they said.

"Our first concern was safety, and everything is safe at the airport. I shall be able to comment further only after getting the inquiry report," Gangal said.

An AAI said, "The AAI has sought a detailed report from the (APD), Ahmedabad Airport, on the incident. He has also been asked to ascertain involvement of any human negligence in the incident."

"The APD has been directed by the to take stringent steps to avoid any such occurrences in future," he said.

According to official data, in 2017, there were more than 1,000 incidents of bird strikes as well as animals colliding with planes at various airports in the country.

The figures indicate a 50 per cent increase in such cases since 2014, which witnessed 719 bird or animal hits.

There were 81 instances of animals straying into the paths of planes last year. Such incidents have doubled in the last three years. In 2014, around 40 such incidents were reported.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 19:20 IST