Passengers of bird-hit Air Mauritius plane stranded in Delhi

July 25th, 2008 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) A day after an Air Mauritius plane caught fire while taking off from the international airport here, the 241 passengers remained stranded in the national capital Friday. A spokesperson of Air Mauritius said the airlines had made arrangements for another aircraft, which was to fly out at 6 a.m. Friday, but it also developed a technical snag.

“The aircraft that had caught fire after a bird hit Thursday will now take off with the passengers as soon as the engineers fix the problem. We were expecting the aircraft to take off by 2 p.m. but haven’t got any response from the engineers yet,” the spokesperson added.

Most of the passengers were holidaymakers and included 90 HDFC Standard Life Insurance employees. The airlines has made arrangements for their stay in various hotels here.

Manoj R.K. Ujoodha, CEO of Air Mauritius, said: “It was unfortunate that the aircraft we had ferried to Delhi to ensure that passengers reach Mauritius at the earliest also suffered a technical problem.”

The pilot of the Air Mauritius plane, which was to fly to the Mauritius capital Port Louis, noticed flames coming out of the undercarriage while taking off at about 2 p.m. Thursday. The take off was aborted and the passengers were evacuated safely.

Officials suspect the plane caught fire owing to a bird hit. According to airport officials, there have been more than 40 bird-hit cases so far this year.

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