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Jet Airways bus driver dozes off, hits AI plane at NSCBI airport

A Silchar bound Air India flight was damaged after a Jet Airways passenger coach rammed into the stationary aircraft which was standing at bay number 32 at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here early on Tuesday. 

The incident occurred at 5.30 am on Tuesday when a Jet Airways bus rammed into the flight damaging its right wing, engine wheel, propeller, landing gear and landing wheel. 

The impact of the accident could have been massive as the flight’s fuel tank was full. There were no passengers inside the flight as the flight was scheduled to take off for Silchar on 8.30 am. 

Director General of Civic Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a high level inquiry into the incident. A committee has been formed to probe into the accident. Airport authorities lodged a complaint at NSCBI police station following which the bus driver Momin Ali has been arrested. According to the preliminary investigation, the bus driver was not drunk during the time of accident. He told the police that he was feeling drowsy and this had led to the accident. 

According to the airport officials, those who drive the buses have special training and the drivers have special license to run the vehicles. The investigating officers are looking into the CCTV footages which could help them in the course of investigation. The cost of the damage could be close to few hundred crores, sources said. 

Air India authorities have lodged a complaint with the Airport Authority of India in this regard. AK Sharma, Director of NSCBI Airport said: “The bus driver was on night duty. He claimed that the incident took place since he fell asleep. A medical test was also conducted on him. DGCA has ordered a high level inquiry.”

An Air India spokesperson said: “At 5.25 am a Jet Airways tarmac bus intruded into the slot marked at bay 32 for Air India aircraft and hit the aircraft VT-ABO (ATR 42).

The aircraft sustained extensive damage on the right engine, right landing gear and also some other parts because of which the flight operations to Silchar and Shillong had to be cancelled. 

AAI, police, CISF and other authorities have taken serious note of this act of negligence and are investigating the incident. We regret the inconvenience caused to any passengers scheduled to take the flights.” 
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