Passengers of budget carrier SpiceJet today had a narrow escape after rear tyres of its Delhi bound plane burst soon after taking off, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing at the airport here. "The crew chose to turn back and landed safely at the Chennai airport, it said". But a SpiceJet spokesperson said the tyre burst happened only during take-off. "Passengers were deplaned safely in a normal manner and taken to terminal building", it said. It has led to the diversion of six flights to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Tirupathi while there was a delay in the departure of 11 flights and arrival of 10.
Fortunately the pilot made a safe landing, though the accompanying right-rear tyre too burst, which damaged the runway and disrupted flights for hours. All 199 passengers on the flight along with the crew were deplaned safely, said Chennai airport authorities.
"While making the emergency landing, the flight suffered another tyre burst".
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The authorities also tweeted the runway will be closed for at least three hours, while the secondary runway will be used for smooth flight operations. "As the aircraft moved on the metal portion after the tyre burst, a small portion of the runway got damaged", Chandramouli added. Jet Airways on its Twitter handle said: "The main runway at #Chennai airport is unavailable due to an incident involving an aircraft of another airline".
Chandramouli also clarified that airport announcements about flight arrivals and departures in Tamil were not cancelled due to the incident. However, the secondary runway was in use at the time. Some of our flights to/from Chennai have been consequently affected.