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December 31, 1999
IA technicians try to fix APU; talks begin
The hijackers of Flight 814 permitted Indian Airlines technicians to try and fix the problem which led to the aircraft's auxiliary power unit shutting down at 0400 IST this morning, compelling 154 hostages to confront the coldest night of the year at Kandahar without heating.
Even as the two IA technicians examined the problem, the Indian negotiators and hijackers began their latest discussions at 0900 Afghan time.
The APU had malfunctioned briefly on Tuesday, but was repaired by Indian Airlines technicians later that evening.
With the APU's failure, the Airbus has no electrical supply, so it is in total darkness. The only way to alleviate the discomfort of the people on board is if the ground authorities have an air-conditioning unit to heat up the aircraft, which in our opinion would not be available for such a large aircraft in Kandahar.
The plane's engines have worked round the clock since it landed in the Afghan city last Saturday, to provide heat and light to the hostages.
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