All 67 passengers aboard a Spice Jet aircraft were evacuated after smoke was detected in a propeller engine shortly after the plane landed at Tuticorin airport on Tuesday.

“The timely action of the crew and airport fire brigade in moving the passengers to safety and putting out the smoke helped avert a dangerous situation,” said C.Prabahar, Assistant General Manager (Technical), Airport-in-Charge.

The flight landed at Tuticorin at 8.25 a.m. and the the smoke was noticed at 8.29 a.m. After enquiring with the pilot, Mr.Prabahar said the smoke was caused by an oil spill from a propeller engine of the plane.

The airport fire tender was pressed into service and the smoke smothered.

Mr.Prabahar said a technical team from Chennai, headed by S.Durairaj, Senior Air Safety Officer, DGCA, arrived on another flight and inspected the Spice Jet aircraft.

Passengers, who were waiting at the airport to board the return flight to Chennai, were instructed to cancel their tickets.

S.Natarajan, Chairman, V.O.Chidambaranar Port Trust, Tuticorin, Ernavoor Narayanan, Nanguneri MLA, and S.Michael Rayappan, Radhapuram MLA, were among the passengers on board the Spice Jet flight from Chennai.

Mr.Narayanan said passengers were fearful when the smoke was sighted.