AAIB to probe SpiceJet Mumbai-Durgapur flight turbulence incident
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) will probe the SpiceJet Mumbai-Durgapur flight "accident" on Sunday that left 17 people injured, two of them seriously, after the aircraft encountered turbulence, sources said on Wednesday.
The episode has been classified as an "accident" as it has left serious injuries on passengers and crew members, the sources mentioned.
The Mumbai-Durgapur flight of Spicejet ran into severe turbulence during its descent phase, causing injuries to 14 passengers and three cabin crew members.
After the accident, India's aviation regulator DGCA has started an inspection of the entire SpiceJet fleet of 91 planes.
Sources said the AAIB will investigate the accident and a formal order regarding the same will be issued soon.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had on Monday took off roster the flight's crew, aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) and in-charge of SpiceJet's maintenance control centre, pending the probe.
Two of the injured passengers -- one with head injury and another with spinal injury -- are in intensive care unit (ICU) right now, the DGCA had said on Monday.
There were 195 people, including two pilots and four cabin crew members, on board the Mumbai-Durgapur flight.
On Monday, a SpiceJet spokesperson had said, "The seat belt sign was on when the aircraft encountered turbulence. Multiple announcements were made by the pilots and the crew instructed passengers to remain seated and keep their seat belt fastened."
Due to severe turbulence, injuries were caused to a few passengers, the spokesperson noted.
"Timely medical assistance was provided upon arrival," the spokesperson added.
Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had on Monday said, "The turbulence encountered by a flight while landing in Durgapur, and the damage caused to the passengers is unfortunate. The DGCA has deputed a team to investigate the incident."
In March this year, SpiceJet was the third largest domestic airline in the country in terms of passenger market, according to DGCA data.
SpiceJet carried 10.21 lakh passengers on its domestic flights in March.
IndiGo -- India's largest carrier -- carried 58.61 lakh passengers in March, a 54.8 per cent share of the domestic market, the data mentioned.