Panaji: A Goa-Delhi Indigo airlines flight, which was also ferrying Goa Minister of State for Environment Nilesh Cabral, had to make a turnaround and land at the Dabolim International Airport early Monday, after its left engine caught fire.
Speaking later to this agency Nilesh Cabral said, that the engine caught fire fifteen minutes after the plane was airborne at around 1.30am in the morning.
“The pilot immediately shut off the left engine and flew us back to Goa,” said the minister who was heading to the national capital for an official meeting.
There were around 180 passengers in the plane at the time the incident occurred.
The fire first came to the notice of a couple of passengers sitting on the left side of the aircraft. As the news spread about the engine on fire panic gripped the passengers. Some of them started crying while a couple were seen praying according to eye witnesses.
However, later in the day, budget carrier refuted the occurrence of any fire on the aircraft. It said that the aircraft had to return to the airport as it had developed ‘technical snag’.
“We strongly refute the occurrence of any fire in the engine of flight 6E-336 from Goa to Delhi, September 29,” Indigo said on its twitter handle.
“The cause of the incident is not known yet and is currently under investigation. As per the laid down Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), our pilot landed the aircraft in Goa for inspection. All the passengers were accommodated on other flights to Delhi,” a spokesperson of the airline said.
Whatever may be the case it was certainly a close call for all the 180 passengers and crew member aboard the aircraft.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has started a probe into the incident.