Air India aircraft grounded after being hit by aerobridge (Lead)

May 5th, 2009 - 5:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 5 (IANS) An Air India aircraft was hit and its door damaged after an aerobridge hit it at the airport here Tuesday morning. The pilot, co-pilot and two ground staff were taken off duty following the incident.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also ordered an investigation into what is being considered a major breach of safety, a spokesperson of the civil aviation ministry said.

The aircraft was hit and its door damaged by the aerobridge at the airport here after 172 passengers had boarded the plane for Mangalore.

“The pilot, co-pilot and two ground staff have been taken off duty and the DGCA has ordered an investigation into the incident,” the spokesperson said.

No passenger or member of the crew on board IC-179 at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here was hurt in the accident, airline officials said.

The incident occurred when the ground staff was trying to withdraw the aerobridge after passengers and crew had boarded and flight attendants had deplaned.

But instead of pulling back, the aerobridge moved forward and damaged the Airbus A321 aircraft door, the officials said.

“We have sent all the passengers by another aircraft around 1 p.m.,” an official said, adding: “For the moment, the damaged aircraft has been grounded. Our team will examine the extent of damage.”

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