On Monday morning an apron security manager became a hero when he averted a fire mishap at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) and saved the lives of over 150 passengers on board. Sanjay Gaikwad, an official at the airport, was present at taxiway N when Jet Airways flight 9W 523 Riyadh-Mumbai, with over 150 passengers and crewmembers, landed and was heading towards the parking at the international apron.
Gaikwad stationed there, immediately noticed the fire in one of the wings of the plane and within seconds informed the Air Traffic Control. Following procedure, the ATC then raised an alarm following which the pilot of the plane was notified and he brought the aeroplane into the scheduled bay.
Confirming the incident, an ATC source said, “The message first reached the ATC through an apron security manager stationed on one of the taxiways. Fire services soon rushed to the spot and took control of the situation and helped the passengers alight safely. It was like any other landing. The pilot was not aware of the fire inside the engine and the matter has been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and they will investigate further.”
A CSIA official added that the fire was put out by 5.50 am and it was thanks to the quick thinking of the apron security manager that an accident was avoided. An official spokesperson of Jet Airways said, “Flight 9W 523 Riyadh-Mumbai was taxing when it was informed of slight smoke in one of the engines. The cockpit crew then proceeded to bring the aircraft to the assigned bay safely. Following standard operating procedures, one engine was shut down and guests were safely deplaned.”
Meanwhile, operations at the airport were affected for approximately 11 minutes as taxiway N was blocked and an alternate was not available. The aircraft was then shifted to another stand after receiving clearance from the DGCA. Despite repeated attempts Gaikwad remained unavailable for comment.