Sunday, October 07, 2018

Concerted effort averts ‘flight landing crisis’

Kolkata : On Friday, a controller at Kolkata airport’s ATC tower received a message from an incoming flight. The captain of the Boeing B 737-800 aircraft suspected a snag in the landing gear and radioed in. The controller immediately sent out an alert that intimated the fire team, health officials, CISF personnel, airline and ground handling agency staff, as well as police outside. Back at the ATC, the controller cleared the path for the flight to land. As the Air Jupiter flight AJA299 touched down on the secondary runway, the fire fighters stationed strategically saw the wheels skid on the tarmac. Realizing that the plane could veer out of control, the fire tenders gave hot pursuit, spraying foam at the landing gear to prevent the sparks from igniting a fire.
“With two hours of fuel still on board the plane, one cannot take a chance. A stray spark can turn the aircraft into a fire ball,” said a fire officer.
Luckily, the pilots were able to steer the plane to a halt. Realising that time was of essence should there be a fire, the cabin crew deployed chutes and passengers began to slide down. Airline staff and ground handling crew lent a helping hand. The medical team rushed in with first aid kits and body bags, quickly setting up an on-site camp to prioritise treatment. Those requiring hospitalisation were stretchered into ambulances while those with minor injuries were treated at the site. Thankfully, the body bags to transport the dead to the mortuary were not required. All the while, CISF jawans kept the area cordoned off.
07/10/18 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India

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