Kochi, Feb 17 (IANS) A Chennai-bound Jet Airways flight from here was aborted when smoke was noticed from one of its tyres just before take-off. All the 48 passengers aboard were safe, the airline said.
“As per standard operating procedure, and in the interest of safety, the captain ordered a precautionary evacuation and the guests were assisted by the crew to deplane safely,” said a statement issued by the airline.
There were 48 passengers and four crew members on board. An engineering team was sent to the site for further inspection of the aircraft.
Following the incident, the airport authorities closed down the runway and directed two flights to other nearby airports.
Earlier, Rafi, one of the passengers on board the plane, said that a few passengers noticed fire coming out from one of the tyres and immediately informed the air hostess.
“The entire responsibility lies with the airline because as we were boarding the flight, many passengers were saying that the condition of the aircraft looked old. The aircraft was moving and was ready for take off when the fire was noticed and all the passengers were evacuated,” Rafi told reporters.
Jet Airways made alternate arrangements for passengers to reach Chennai.