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Rediff.com  » News » AI sends team to repair flight stuck at Pak airport

AI sends team to repair flight stuck at Pak airport

Last updated on: July 09, 2012 12:24 IST

A New Delhi-bound Air India aircraft with 128 people on board on Monday made an emergency landing at Nawabshah airport in Pakistan's southern Sindh province after developing a technical problem with its hydraulic system.

All 122 passengers and six crew members on board the Airbus 319 aircraft are safe, officials said.

"The aircraft was flying over Pakistani air space when the pilot saw a warning light in the cockpit and sought permission to land at the nearest airport which was Nawabshah," an Air India spokesperson said in New Delhi.

The plane landed at Nawabshah airport in southern Sindh province at 3.37 am local time.

"Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai is in touch with the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan Sharat Sabharwal, who is in contact with the pilot," sources in the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi.

The pilot has informed them that the condition on the plane is "reasonable", they said.

"The Air India plane made an emergency landing due to technical failure. The aircraft was on its way from Abu Dhabi to Delhi," Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Pervez George told rediff.com.

The captain of the aircraft contacted Pakistani authorities and sought permission for an emergency landing after detecting the problem with the hydraulic system, George said.

The captain preferred to have the passengers remain on board the aircraft though Pakistani authorities had offered to allow them to disembark, George said.

Pakistani authorities offered all possible assistance but the captain said nothing is needed.

"The pilot wanted some water and this was sent to the aircraft. Currently, they all are inside the aircraft," George said.

He said an Air India Airbus 320 is expected to arrive shortly to take back the stranded passengers and crew to India.

The Pakistan official also said that some Indian engineers will also come to repair the aircraft and take it back.

George added that Pakistan would have no objection if another Air India flight came to rescue the stranded passengers.

"All passengers and crew members are safe and are being provided food and other facilities," an official in the civil aviation ministry told rediff.com.

"Another plane is being sent to pick up the passengers and take them to Abu Dhabi. This plane would carry a team of engineers," he added.

Onkar Singh/Tahir Ali/PTI