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Bird grounds Jetlite flight

Jorhat/Guwahati, Dec. 21: A Jetlite flight (S2-4391) was grounded at Dibrugarh after being hit by a bird while it was landing at Mohanbari airport this afternoon.

There were 135 passengers on board when the incident occurred. The particular flight flies on the Ahmedabad-Delhi-Guwahati-Dibrugarh route. The scheduled timing for arrival of the flight at Dibrugarh is at 1.30pm and departure 2pm.

Jetlite sources said a bird hit the flight on one of the wings while it was landing in Dibrugarh. “The left wing of the aircraft was damaged and it will take some time to repair it,” a Jetlite official said.

The passengers of the flight were not aware of the incident and came to know only after they arrived at the airport. Sources said the crew immediately asked for a technical check-up of the aircraft after it landed in Dibrugarh.

Cabinet ministers Prithibi Majhi and Pranati Phukan, who had boarded the flight from Guwahati, told The Telegraph that they were not aware of any incident during the flight or landing. Only after they reached home did they come to know about the problem. “There was no announcement, no tension inside the flight. It was a smooth flight,” Phukan said.

Majhi said he had heard the pilot calling the flight engineer while landing but there was nothing alarming. “Only after getting calls from reporters and well-wishers after reaching home, I realised that it was a close shave,” he said.

Also on the flight were P. Mithi, the wife of former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh Mukut Mithi and Shanti Gogoi, the wife of former Assam chief minister Keshav Chandra Gogoi, DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar and his wife Jibontara Ghatowar, a state parliamentary secretary, Phukan said.

Heera Acharya, additional private secretary of DoNER minister Ghatowar, who was also on the flight, said they were not aware of any problem. “We came to know about some snag when we reached the terminal,” Acharya said.

Another passenger waiting to board the flight to Guwahati said the flight was to take off at 2pm. “We had already boarded the flight, but were suddenly told that the flight had been cancelled. The fare was refunded, but it did cause some inconvenience,” he said.