21:57 GMT13 June 2021
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    Bats caused widespread panic during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, after it was suspected that they could have transmitted the virus to humans. However, it is yet to be determined if the mammals were behind the spread of the coronavirus.

    A US-bound flight from India had to return midway to make an emergency landing after a bat was found on board the plane.

    The Air India flight to Newark, New Jersey, left Delhi Airport as scheduled but had to return 30 minutes after take-off as a bat was spotted in business class. As the panic spread, the flight captain contacted Air Traffic Control (ATC) and decided to take the plane back to the original base.

    The authorities later contacted wildlife officials and retrieved the mammal's carcass. An official confirmed that the aircraft was later cleaned and fumigated.

    Meanwhile, the airline's management has asked its engineering team for a detailed report regarding this incident. The passengers were subsquently transferred to another plane.

    Tags:
    Sputnik, Delhi, New Jersey, Air India, bat, COVID-19
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