Three people have been hospitalized after a private plane skidded off the runway while trying to land amid heavy rain at Mumbai airport. There were eight people (six passengers and two crew) on board the aircraft when the incident occurred at 5.02pm on Thursday. No casualties have been reported so far.
The runway has been cleared of debris and normal operations have resumed – following safety checks and approval by the General Directorate of Civil Aviation.
The incident took place near runway 27, which was slippery due to the rain. Visibility at the time was reportedly about 700 meters.
The runway was briefly closed, with Vistara Airlines saying five of its flights had been diverted and others “likely to be affected”. The diverted flights are UK622 (from Varanasi) and UK124 (from Bangkok) and UK933 (from Delhi), UK518. (from Kochi) and UK865 (from Dehradun).The first two have been diverted to Hyderabad and the last three flights have been sent to Goa’s Mopa Airport.
SpiceJet has advised its passengers “flights may be affected”.
Disturbing CCTV footage of the crash shows the plane hitting the ground with significant force and the plane’s fuselage appearing to slide along the ground for a while.
Other images from Mumbai airport showed dark gray skies and the wreckage of the plane on the other side of the runway. The first images showed that the wreckage was still on fire.
The fire was extinguished by the emergency services.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the aircraft was a Learjet 45 – a nine-seater superlight business jet manufactured by a division of Canada-based Bombardier Aviation – registered with VSR Ventures, which is believed to be a Bengaluru-based aircraft . real estate development company.
The plane came in from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.