Air India Express Flight IX-1132 Catches Fire Midair with 179 Passengers

Air India Express Catches Fire Midair
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Author: Hriday Verma

Published: May 20, 2024

An Air India Express flight, IX-1132, traveling from Pune to Kochi via a stopover in Bengaluru, faced a harrowing incident when one of its engines caught fire approximately 10 minutes after takeoff on a Saturday evening. The plane swiftly returned to Bengaluru, where it performed an emergency landing, followed by the evacuation of all 179 passengers on board. Let’s delve into the details of this dramatic event.

The Incident

Around 10 minutes after departing from Bengaluru, passengers aboard the Airbus A320 flight heard a loud noise and witnessed flames near the right engine. Panic ensued as the crew swiftly turned the plane back and executed an emergency landing in Bengaluru at 11:15 PM. The fire was first noticed around 11 PM, leaving passengers understandably shaken.

Evacuation and Stranded Passengers

Upon landing, all doors and emergency exits were promptly opened, and evacuation slides were deployed. Passengers were instructed to move quickly toward the fields near the runway while fire tenders rushed to the scene. Some passengers sustained minor injuries during the evacuation.

The stranded passengers faced an unexpected wait at the Bengaluru airport, enduring nearly 11 hours of uncertainty. Their journey to Kochi was delayed until a replacement aircraft could be arranged. Passengers expressed frustration, but eventually, the airline managed to provide an alternative flight, and they reached Kochi at 12:10 PM the next day.

Air India Express’s Response

An Air India Express spokesperson assured that the crew successfully evacuated all passengers without any injuries. The airline expressed regret for the inconvenience caused and promised to investigate the cause of the fire. Flames were seen emanating from the right engine after takeoff, prompting the precautionary landing. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will also conduct a separate probe to determine the exact cause.

Lessons Learned

This incident underscores the importance of rigorous safety protocols and the commendable efforts of the cabin and ground crew during emergencies. While passengers faced a terrifying situation, their safety remained the top priority.

As investigations continue, authorities will analyze the engine failure and take necessary measures to prevent such incidents in the future. Passengers, too, will likely reflect on their close call and appreciate the swift response that averted a potential disaster.

The Air India Express flight IX-1132’s midair engine fire serves as a reminder of the critical role safety procedures play in aviation. Thankfully, all passengers survived this harrowing experience, but it highlights the need for constant vigilance and preparedness in the skies.

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