Major air mishap averted at Mumbai

Mumbai, May 27 (IANS) Barely five days after an airliner crash at Mangalore claimed 158 lives, a major air disaster was averted Wednesday evening when an IndiGo flight taxied into the runway here where a Jet Airways aircraft was about to land, officials said.

Flight 9W616 of Jet had been cleared for landing, but the pilot aborted the operation after the air traffic control found that flight 6E415 of IndiGo was on the same runway, waiting for take-off, an official at the airport here said.

No passengers were injured in the incident, which happened at around 21.04 hrs, usually a busy peak time at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The IndiGo flight was bound for Bangalore, while the Jet flight was coming in from Kolkata.

‘Instead of going on to taxiway ‘N’, as per the designated instructions from the air traffic control, the Indigo aircraft had entered the main runway where the Jet flight was cleared to land,’ an official explained.

‘Apparently, there was some confusion as some taxiway lights were faulty.’

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a probe into the incident.

The regulatory authority’s officials in New Delhi said a preliminary reading into the incident points toward a major lapse, especially after last Saturday’s Mangalore air tragedy in which an Air India aircraft overshot the runway and fell into a gorge.

–Indo-Asian New Service

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