At a time when fatal accidents involving aircrafts around the world have caused a worry among fliers, a domestic flight flying from Mumbai to Delhi on Wednesday gave a scare to 154 people on board, leaving several of them injured.
The IndiGo flight 6E-176, operating on Airbus A320 aircraft, emanated "dense smoke" on landing at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at around 3:30 pm on Wednesday, following which the Air Traffic Control alerted the pilot who called for evacuation of passengers.
The passengers were evacuated through the emergency slide-chutes, during which about 28 passengers suffered injuries, with one reportedly suffering a fracture, according to The Press Trust of India.
There were 148 passengers and six crew members on board at the time of the incident.
Preliminary reports suggested that the smoke that came out of the lower-left portion of the plane's body could have been caused because of heavy friction on the left brake assembly of the plane's landing gear, as reported by PTI.
"As soon as the Captain got the information about the dense smoke observed from the ATC tower, he immediately ordered the crew to evacuate all passengers in the interest of safety. The evacuation was done on taxi way after safely landing the aircraft," the IndiGo spokesperson told PTI.
According to sources, hydraulic fuel had leaked on to the 'wheel well area', which gets extremely hot during landing, and hence caused smoke, Hindustan Times reported.
The passengers were reportedly evacuated within 75 seconds on the taxi-way adjoining runway 27. The plane was to further travel to Varanasi after stopping at Delhi, and the passengers booked to fly to the destination were flown on another aircraft after about an hour of the incident.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation regulator for passenger flights, has begun a probe in the incident, along with the IndiGo authorities.
According to the airline, "There was no fire and this was not an emergency or priority landing".
This scare on board an IndiGo flight is the third in barely few months. On 8 March, an IndiGo plane flying from Delhi to Kathmandu with 182 passengers caught fire on landing due to a similar problem in the plane's brake assembly.
Last month, a collision between an IndiGo flight and an Air India flight was averted in West Bengal, as the two flights breached the minimum distance to be maintained between two planes.