New Delhi: 154 people on board an IndiGo aircraft had a narrow escape on Wednesday following a problem in its landing gear that caused thick smoke to emnate after touching down at the Indira Gandhi International airport, leaving some passengers with minor injuries during evacuation.
As the Airbus A-320 aircraft operating flight 6E-176 from Mumbai and carrying 148 passengers and six crew members landed at Delhi's IGI Airport around 1530 hours, the Air Traffic Control observed "dense smoke" coming out of the left-side lower portion and alerted the pilots, airport sources said.
The aircraft was moved to the taxiway where all passengers were evacuated through emergency slide-chutes, an airline spoksperson said, adding that "some of them suffered minor injuries during evacuation".
Aviation regulator DGCA and the airline itself have begun probing the incident, with preliminary information saying the smoke emanated from the left brake assembly of the aircraft's landing gear.
This is the second incident involving an IndiGo aircraft in the recent past. On March 8, an Indigo plane from Delhi with 182 people on board had caught fire after landing at Kathmandu airport but no one was hurt. Then too, the fire was spotted on the plane's right brake assembly.
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Officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) at the airport and the airline engineers have already started investigating the causes behind the smoke, official sources said, adding that the probe into all aspects would continue over the next few days.
Maintaining that there was "no fire and this was not an emergency or priority landing", the airline spokesperson said the aircraft made "a normal landing on runway 27 at 1535 hours".
"As soon as the Captain got the information about the dense smoke observed from the ATC tower, he immediately ordered the crew to evacuate all passengers in the interest of passengers and crew safety. The evacuation was done on taxi way after safely landing the aircraft," he said.
"We confirm that all passengers and crew members are safe and have been taken to the terminal building. Some of the passengers were given medical attention and taken care of.... They have all left for their homes already," the spokesperson said, adding that "safety of all passengers and crew is of utmost importance to IndiGo and there is absolutely no compromise on it".