Air India flight skids off runway in Kanpur

July 20th, 2011 - 4:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Chetan Bhagat Lucknow, July 20 (IANS) An Air India flight carrying 54 passengers skidded off the runway at Kanpur’s Chakeri airport Wednesday after landing from New Delhi. All the passengers were evacuated safely, officials said.

“The flight AI-9801 carrying 54 passengers skidded off Kanpur airport’s runway. All the passengers are safe and another return flight is being arranged to bring passengers slated to travel on Kanpur-Delhi route,” a senior Air India official with the operations arm of the airline told IANS.

According to the official, the 70-seater Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ), which took off from the IGI airport here at around 11.45 am, skidded at Kanpur airport due to wet runway conditions around 12.30 p.m.

“The aircraft approached the runway at the prescribed regulatory guidelines and speed limits, but skidded due to wet runway,” an official said.

“The aircraft skidded and then got stuck in mud after crossing the length of the runway. The area after the runway is a safety area, so the aircraft was not damaged,” he added.

The aircraft was being towed away and another aircraft was being flown in to pick passengers from the return flight to the national capital.

Celebrity passenger Chetan Bhagat, who was one of the passengers on board tweeted: “Landed in Kanpur on AI. Emergency landing as plane skidded off runway into wet mud. Lucky save. Evacuations on now. Thank u God.”

Bhagat said he was unable to upload any picture of the incident as the Kanpur airport is also used for military purposes and photography is banned.

“Can’t take pics as military airport but quite something to step out on mud.
The plane wheels are barely visible, dug deep into mud,” he posted on the microblogging site.

The national carrier’s budget subsidiary, Alliance Air, started the hopping flight between the national capital to Kolkata with a 30-minute stopover at Kanpur, which is 83 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.

The flight is operated on all days except Sundays.

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