Air India flight hits wall at Trichy airport, gets diverted to Mumbai

A large gash along the belly of the jet and multiple perforations on the engine nacelles

It was later declared fit for operations after inspection at Mumbai airport. No passenger was injured in the incident, but photographs indicated that the aircraft's belly and wheels suffered heavy damage.

"The flight diverted to Mumbai, landed safely around 5.35 am in Mumbai, and taxied on its own power to the parking stand", it said. The pilots have been grounded in an investigation. While the source said the flight had to make an emergency landing at the airport due to issues with hydraulic fuel, a spokesperson of the national carrier claimed there was a hydraulic fuel "shortage".

While the Air India flight was flying over the Arabian sea on its way to Dubai, the pilots were informed by the air traffic control (ATC) that their aircraft may have come in contact with the perimeter wall at the Trichy airport.

Another officer said, "We had reported this to the pilot".

Surprisingly, the pilot was unaware of the damage caused to the plane and it was the airport officials who told the pilot in command about the damage. The plane had 130 passengers and six crew members on board. The accident took place on Thursday morning at about 1:30 AM (Indian Standard Time).

The engineering team is assessing the damages, they said, adding that a ferry flight was sent from Kochi to fly the passengers stranded in Mumbai to their destination.

On hearing about the incident Tamil Nadu Tourism Minister N. Natarajan visited the airport and inspected the damage.

The pilot commanding the Boeing, Captain D Ganesh Babu and the First Officer, Captain Anurag have been taken off Air India Express's pilot roster pending an investigation into the very serious incident. In order to have continuous attention towards air safety, the ministry has also ordered concerned officials to put in place a regular "safety compliance report" of all airlines.

Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu has ordered an inquiry into the incident. Safety of the passengers is of paramount importance for us.

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