14:58 GMT +312 December 2019
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    Two Near Mishaps at Delhi, Goa Airports Leave Travelers in Jitters

    © AFP 2019 / FREDERIC J. BROWN
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    Passengers had a providential escape after two near-fatal misses at different Indian airports. Airlines in near-head-on collision denied any wrongdoing but a Government probe will get to the bottom of the incidents.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — A civilian flight landing at Delhi narrowly escaped a head-on collision with another flight on the runway at the Delhi airport on Tuesday. But that hair rising incident was not the end of near misses. In Goa, another private airliner skidded off the runway leading to injuries.

    The IndiGo flight had just arrived in Delhi from Lucknow with 176 passengers while the Spicejet flight with 187 on board was about to take off for Hyderabad when the two aircraft came face to face. The IndiGo pilot suddenly applied the brakes and while passengers for panicked in the chaos, the plane came to a halt after a grating noise, said a source.

    "Following Standard Operating Procedures, [the pilot] took the decision to switch off the engine and reported the incident to the Air Traffic Controller," IndiGo said in a statement.

    SpiceJet also put out a statement denying any negligence. "SpiceJet flight SG 123 operating Delhi-Hyderabad was following the instructions. While taxiing, its crew observed another aircraft on the same taxiway in the opposite direction. Acting promptly, the crew immediately stopped the aircraft and informed the ATC," read the statement.

    Earlier in the morning, a Jet Airways flight with 154 passengers on board skidded off the runway at the Goa Airport. The flight had arrived from Dubai and was bound for Mumbai. The aircraft tilted forward resulting in panic among passengers. About 15 people reportedly suffered minor injuries and fractures.

    As the Goa airport is located in Indian Navy's facility, the naval staff assisted in the evacuation.

    "The Navy responded within 15-20 minutes and all the passengers were evacuated safely out of the aircraft. It would have turned into a catastrophe had the Navy not acted promptly," a Naval spokesperson said.

    The Director General of Civil Aviation has initiated separate probes into both incidents.


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