Air India Express flight evacuated at Muscat airport as smoke pours from aircraft

Omani authorities say passengers are safe and air traffic remains open

Witness footage showed passengers using emergency slides and running across the tarmac. Photo: 'Times of Oman'
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Passengers were led to safety from a plane at Muscat International Airport on Wednesday after a fire started in one of its engines.

Air India Express Flight IX-442 was about to take off for Kochi in southern India at 11.20am local time when smoke began pouring from the aircraft.

Footage showed passengers using emergency slides and running across the tarmac.

An airline official told The National that the plane was taxiing on the runway when take-off was aborted.

They said 145 passengers, including four infants, and six crew left the plane safely. Some minor injuries were reported.

The official said after smoke was noticed in the engine, the pilot followed all safety procedures.

“He did not take off and parked on the side of the runway, and fire extinguishers were used.

"Passengers were evacuated using the flight chutes that were operated. The injuries are not serious. It was as many people were trying to leave the plane at the same time."

In a statement, Air India said the flight was preparing to depart from Muscat and “while it was on the taxiway, another aircraft reported observing fumes from one of the engines”.

“However, there was no fire warning indication in the cockpit."

Oman's civil aviation authority said there was "no impact on the safety of the airport, passengers and air traffic".

"The fire has been put out and the runway is open again for flight operations," it added.

An official said 14 passengers suffered mostly minor injuries.

“Eight passengers suffered physical injuries when the plane came to a sudden halt and the rest had breathing problems from inhaling the smoke from the engine,” the CAA official said.

The incident is being investigated by regulatory authorities and also the airline’s safety department.

Updated: September 14, 2022, 1:59 PM
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