Vizag IndiGo Plane Hits Wild Boar During Takeoff , Airline issues statement

Screengrab of scuffle between a Indigo passenger and employees on October 15

IndiGo officials said the pilots saw the boar straying on to the runway but could not abort the take-off at that stage, The Times of India reported.

Around 150 passengers on board a Hyderabad-bound IndiGo flight had a miraculous escape on Sunday night as the aircraft hit a wild boar just before it took off from Visakhapatnam airport. In the panic that followed, the pilot informed the Air Traffic Controller and took to the air nevertheless to avoid a fire since the tank was full. The crew realized there was a problem when the rear wheels failed to lift while takeoff.

The pilot made a safe landing back at the Vizag airport after about 45 minutes to get the aircraft inspected. In a statement, IndiGo said, "Flight 6E-742 from Vishakhapatnam to Hyderabad hit a wild boar on the runway during take-off. As per the standard operating procedures, the captain immediately reported the matter to the Air Traffic Control and chose to hold over Vizag", the airline said in the statement. The safety of passengers and crew was not compromised, it added.

Vizag airport director, G Prakash Reddy, mentioned to TOI that they raised the issue with INS Dega, which controls the airport and asked them to undertake measures to clear wild animals from the airport. Otherwise, it is impossible to enter the airport.

The IndiGo flight, which was supposed to reach Hyderabad by 11.15 pm, took off only at 1 am and reached Hyderabad on Monday 2.15 am. Andhra Pradesh Air Travellers" Association vice-president O. Naresh Kumar described it as a "security breach' and wondered how a wild boar could gain entry into the highly restricted area.

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