A Kolkata-Dehradun Air India flight was delayed for 24 hours during a Varanasi layover as airline employees scoured the plane for a rat that had been sighted on board. The flight was stalled on the runway in Varanasi.

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A fuel tanker moves past Air India passenger jets parked at an airport in Kolkata May 6, 2012.Reuters file

The incident was reported on Sunday, January 26 where considerable commotion on the Air India flight at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport in Varanasi was witnessed.

All passengers were deboarded and a search for the rat began. The rodent remained elusive and the flight was cancelled after which the passengers created ruckus.

Rat remains untraceable?

The flight AI 691 from Varanasi to Dehradun was again searched but the rat was nowhere to be found.

The passengers were taken to a hotel and were later adjusted in other flights to their destination.

A senior AI official said in Lucknow that the flight could not take off with the rat since it could have nibbled away at some wire, causing technical snag during the flight.

Air India
In picture: An Air India aircraft.IANS File Photo

Engineers were later called in from Delhi and renewed efforts were made to find the rat.

When the rat remained untraceable, the pesticide was sprayed inside the aircraft to ensure that the missing rat did not survive. The aircraft remained shut for almost 12 hours.

The rat, alive or dead, has still not been found. The aircraft has resumed operation and has flown to Dehradun.