The IndiGo flight from Kolkata to Chennai via Bhubaneswar and Vizag was grounded at the airport here on Wednesday afternoon after the glass screen of the aircraft’s cockpit was damaged reportedly due to turbulence in the sky.

The flight made a safe landing here but the passengers were deplaned and detained for nearly three hours before the airline arranged an aircraft to fly the stranded passengers bound for Chennai.

“The flight took off from Bhubaneswar Airport at 1.50 p.m. There was a hailstorm and hailstones reportedly hit the front portion of the plane, damaging the windscreen. Some of the passengers panicked as there was severe turbulence and children started crying,” said SDJM Prasad, who was travelling from Bhubaneswar to Chennai.

“After alighting in Vizag around 3 p.m. we noticed that the glass screen was damaged on both sides and there was a hole on one side. We were all deplaned and while Vizag-bound passengers left for their homes, onward passengers were made to wait at the arrival hall. There were very few chairs in the hall and we were not allowed into the VIP lounge. The airline authorities told us that an alternative aircraft would come in about 2 hours,” he said.

“The aircraft was grounded after landing. The airline authorities are making arrangements to requisition a special flight, which was expected around 5.45 p.m., to fly the 46 stranded passengers to Chennai,” said an official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

The stranded passengers heaved a sigh of relief after a special flight finally arrived around 6.15 p.m. to take them to Chennai.