Several hundred passengers were forced to spend their night in aircrafts and at airports, after an Indigo aircraft from Tirupati had a narrow escape as one of its tyres burst while landing at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad on Wednesday night.
Over 70 passengers on board had a close shave, as alert personnel of fire-fighting team rushed to the aircraft to prevent any disaster.
However, the incident threw several flights out of gear, not only at the Hyderabad airport but also the airports in Chennai and Bengaluru.
According to reports, the aircraft whose tyre had burst continued to sit on the runway for hours, as over 30 additional flights were diverted to Chennai, while Bengaluru also diverted four scheduled flights to Chennai.
While two flights heading to Hyderabad had to return to the same airport they took off from, international flights scheduled to land in Hyderabad were also diverted to Chennai.
Reports state that a total of 31 flights, including 10 international flights, were diverted, while 14 domestic flights were cancelled on Thursday.
This caused a lot of congestion at the Chennai and Bengaluru airports, as Hyderabad has one of the busiest airports in the country.
The inconvenience to passengers continued through the night, to Thursday morning.
"Just when we were supposed to land in Hyderabad on Wednesday night, we were told the runway is shut and the flight is being diverted to Bengaluru, instead. There, we were holed up till 5.30am – first inside the aircraft and later at the terminal. We managed to return to Hyderabad only at 7am," a passenger travelling from Ranchi told ToI.
Meanwhile, passengers also faced inconvenience at the Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport as hundreds of bags were misplaced, resulting in huge queues.
The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) said that a slowdown in baggage handling system (BHS) due to increased levels of "dangerous goods" found in checked-in luggage impacted numerous passengers.
According to the firm that operates and manages the IGI airport, manual reconciliation was conducted of the suspect baggage to remove the prohibited items and this caused the slowdown.
"With the onset of holiday weekend, Delhi Airport today (Thursday) experienced an increase level of dangerous goods, particularly power banks and lighters, in customer checked-in luggage," a DIAL spokesperson said in a statement.
"Passengers are being reminded, not to pack these items in their checked-luggage to avoid inconvenience. This has addressed the instances of passengers sending their baggage with prohibited items on the BHS (baggage handling system) and hence the issue is now under control," the statement added.