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Rediff.com  » News » Air ambulance crash-lands near Delhi airport, all safe

Air ambulance crash-lands near Delhi airport, all safe

Last updated on: May 24, 2016 20:46 IST

IMAGE: People gather at the spot where an air ambulance of Alchemist Airlines crashed in Delhi's Najafgarh area on Tuesday. All photographs: ANI

An air ambulance coming from Patna with a patient, who had suffered a brain stroke, and six others on board on Tuesday crash landed in Najafgarh area of South West Delhi after both its engines shut down one after the other but all passengers escaped unhurt.

The six-seater Beech King Air C-90A aircraft crash landed at around 2:40 pm on a field in Kair village in Najafgarh, about 10 km from the Indira Gandhi international airport, police said.

The 27-year old plane belonging to Chandigarh-based private operator Alchemist Airways had to force land after both its engines failed, airport officials said. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation has started an inquiry into the incident.

A 61-year-old cardiac patient, Virender Rai, who was being flown to Delhi, was rushed to the Medanta hospital in Gurgaon immediately after the mishap. The other passengers were taken to a nearby government hospital for medical examination.

The aircraft was in touch with Air Traffic Control while making the final approach to landing.

ATC sources said the first engine of the plane stopped working at 2:22 pm, prompting the commander to seek emergency landing. A little later at 2:35 pm, the pilot-in command reported that the second engine had also failed.

Two minutes later, the aircraft lost radar and VHF contact as well, the sources said, adding the ATC received a phone call at 2:40 pm that the aircraft had crash landed.

The six other on board included Rupesh (doctor), Jung Bahadur (aircraft technician), Juhi and Bhagwan Rai (both relatives of the patient), Amit Kumar (pilot) and Rohit (co-pilot).

A small 20-year-old Border Security Force plane had crashed near Dwarka in December last year in which all 10 on board had been killed.

A DGCA official said the final investigation will be conducted by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau.

"Our officials are there at the accident site but since this is an accident, it will be investigated by the AAIB only," a DGCA official said.

The AAIB, which is under the ministry of civil aviation, has been mandated for probing all serious incidents/accidents involving Indian aircraft.

In a tweet, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said,"I pray for the early recovery of the injured. The causes of the accident shall be looked into."

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said DGCA officials have visited the site of the incident to conduct a probe.

"We received an emergency call from the pilot. Both the engines of the aircraft had reportedly failed. They made a safe landing. The DGCA is looking into the incident," Sharma told reporters.

As many as 14 fire tenders were rushed to the spot immediately after the aircraft crash-landed.

Sources at Medanta Medicity said the patient had a brain stroke about two days ago in a hospital in Patna following which the hospital authorities had contacted Medanta for an air ambulance for transporting him to the facility for further treatment.

"But then later they chose to take some other private charter service instead of our air ambulance," said a source.

According to the spokesperson of Medanta, after the emergency landing, the medical team at the airport as well as at the hospital emergency were alerted.

"Police brought the patient and the relatives to the hospital. None of them had suffered injuries. The patient is admitted in the ICU and is on ventilator support. He is being looked after by a team of neurologists and critical care specialists," the spokesperson said.

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