In the Friday's fire emergency incident on a Jet Airways flight that was scheduled to fly to Chennai from here, an Additional Crew Member (ACM), travelling as a passenger, “apparently observed fire on the left engine” and informed another ACM, who was also travelling as a passenger.
The latter too “claimed to have seen the fire.” The captain and the cabin crew were then alerted.
On conformation, the pilot “pulled the fire handles of the left and right engines and the APU [auxiliary power unit]. However, he did not discharge any of the fire bottles.”
After the pilot ordered evacuation, escape slides were deployed and the airport's fire and rescue personnel pressed into service.
Fourteen passengers on flight 9W2302 sustained injuries during the evacuation. There were 131 passengers on board, including an infant.
Doctors from the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) attended to 25 passengers. “None of the patients was critical, but a few sustained injuries and suspected fractures when they fell during evacuation.
At 11.57 p.m. Jet Airways operated another aircraft to Chennai with 117 passengers,” an MIAL spokesperson said. “In some cases, the chutes did not deploy early. So some passengers jumped,” the spokesperson said. The injured were sent to two hospitals.
Shivram Krishnan, a Nagpur-based passenger, who suffered an ankle injury, underwent surgery on Friday night. Another patient with a fracture is recuperating.
The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has called a meeting of the heads of training of all airlines to review the training procedures of cabin and flight crews, particularly during emergency and evacuation.
In a statement, Jet Airways said: “The precautionary evacuation was carried out in the interest of safety of the passengers and the crew. The crew carried out the evacuation in accordance with the standard operating procedures. Subsequent inspection of the engine indicated that there was no fire. A formal inquiry has been initiated by the DGCA and Jet Airways is fully co-operating and providing all necessary assistance.
“The welfare of our guests and crew is of prime importance and Jet Airways is taking appropriate steps to ensure the same.”
Eight of the 12 injured passengers were released after treatment and sent to Chennai, the airline said.
“Safety is of paramount importance to Jet Airways and we regret the inconvenience caused to our guests. Jet Airways would like to express its gratitude to the crew, the airport staff, the medical staff, MIAL and all other agencies for providing their timely assistance and support.”