Almost 160 passengers and crew on board a Hyderabad-bound IndiGo flight from Visakhapatnam had a narrow escape when a wild boar strayed onto the runway and came under the aircraft when it was in the last stage of taxiing.
There have been reports of wild boars straying onto the airport in night's darkness for some time and they came true on Sunday. The Indigo flight was due to takeoff at 10 pm when it hit a wild boar on the runway, damaging the rear wheel and killing the animal. The crew members of the plane informed the Air Traffic Control (ATC) about the incident, after which the runway was cleared of the carcass for the aircraft to return for touch down. Hence, the pilots flew the plane over the sea for 45 minutes to burn fuel and then landed at the Vizag airport.
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"The IndiGo flight 6E-742 from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad struck a wandering wild boar on the runway during take-off". "According to standard operating procedures, the captain immediately reported the matter to the Air Traffic Control and made a decision to hold over Vizag", the airline said in a statement. The safety of passengers and crew was not compromised, it added.
Speaking to Press, Vizag airport director G Prakash Reddy said, "We've raised the issue with INS Dega, which controls the airport". Otherwise, it is impossible to enter the airport. The flight was supposed to land at Hyderabad at 11.15 pm, but finally took off only at 1 am on Monday morning. Now, the wild boar menace is serious. "We have requested them to undertake the cleaning works near the runway area to prevent the repeat of such incidents", airport director said.
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