A water tanker hit a Doha-bound Qatar Airways aircraft shortly after passengers boarded it at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport Thursday morning. While the aircraft’s belly was damaged, no injuries were reported among the 101 passengers on board.
The accident occurred when a tanker belonging to Air India hit the QR 540 flight at around 2.20 am, when passengers were in the process of boarding.
“The passengers were safely evacuated. The aircraft was grounded and a DGCA inquiry has been initiated into the incident,’’ said Kolkata airport director Atul Dixit.
In addition to the 101 passengers, the aircraft was carrying 12 crew members including two pilots. “No injuries have been reported. All other operations are normal,” said Dixit, adding that the passengers have been taken to a hotel and will board the next flight to Doha, which will leave Kolkata at 3.30 am on Friday.
An AAI official said the tanker was meant to refill the water tanks of the aircraft’s washrooms, according to a PTI report.
Officials said the aircraft was taken away for repairs.
“The movement of vehicles in the airport takes place through pre-determined routes and speed. One has to find out how the driver lost control of the vehicle,” said an official, adding it was suspected that the tanker’s brakes had failed.
The driver of the tanker has been suspended, added the official.