Around 160 passengers, including Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh, had a close shave when an Air India AI 889 Delhi to Guwahati flight suffered a bird hit while landing at the Guwahati Airport.
Though the plane (AI-889) was damaged, the pilots managed to land it safely at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi Airport. The flight’s onward journey was cancelled after the mishap, which occurred around 3.45 pm, airport officials said.
An Air India spokesperson confirmed the incident and said the flight carrying 160 passengers was grounded for inspection by a team of engineers.
Singh said the aircraft suffered the bird-hit moments before landing. “There was a loud noise, and the plane shook briefly just as the flight was descending. I was later told that the bird had caused a hole on the right side of the cockpit,” he tweeted.
The Manipur chief minister, however, in another tweet mentioned about the poor and inefficient management at the airport and tweeted, “Air India management in Guwahati Airport is so poor and inefficient. Till now, many passengers are inside the aircraft without food and accommodation.”
In response, the Air India spokesperson said the airlines did its best to take care of the stranded passengers.
“After the aircraft landed in Guwahati, the airport staff found it was a bird hit so the plane was grounded for further inspection. We did our utmost to take care of the stranded passengers,” the spokesperson told.
He also said that the Air India has sent “men and material” from Kolkata to Guwahati to check the aircraft and they are on the job of making the aircraft airworthy.
The spokesperson further said that the Air India is operating an additional flight to fly stranded passengers which will depart soon for Imphal.