An Air India flight bound for Mumbai, India from Newark’s Liberty International Airport was forced to turn back and make an emergency landing after one of its engines caught fire just minutes after takeoff.
According to Reuters, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had initially reported the cause of the fire to be the result of a bird strike. They have since then retracted the statement and now say the incident is under investigation. The possibility of a bird strike has been ruled out.
The Air India Flight 144 was a direct flight to Mumbai and had 313 passengers on board. The Aircraft was a Boeing 777 -300. It took off from Newark at 4:25 p.m. Soon after, the captain reported one engine catching fire and another engine failing. The plane made a quick turn and landed back at Newark at 5:01 p.m. No injuries were reported from any of the passengers. According to Port Authority spokesperson Erica Dumas, the Air India captain had called in for an ambulance, just in case.
Zee News reports that the plane had suffered from “multiple blown tires” following the landing and was not in a state to be taxied or towed away. The passengers were made to evacuate the aircraft on the tarmac itself following the landing. Air India is making alternative arrangements for the passengers to be sent to India on another aircraft, confirmed Dumas.
Meanwhile, MyFoxNY reports that multiple witnesses saw the Air India Flight 144 flying low over Newark and circling the airport before it landed. The plane also reportedly dumped fuel before it attempted the emergency landing, although this has not been confirmed yet.
The Air India plane that was involved in this mishap – a Boeing 777-300 is similar to the 777-200 that was used in the still missing Malaysia Air MH 370 flight – except that this aircraft is slightly longer.
[Image Via Flickr]