Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Governor Rameshwar Thakur had a close shave on early Tuesday morning as the plane carrying them narrowly avoided a collision with two Indian Air Force vehicles that had mistakenly come on the runway, at the Vijaya Raje Scindia air Terminal in Gwalior.
The disaster was avoided due to the alertness of the pilot, who spotted the vehicles in time and took off the plane again.
Just as the plane carrying the two touched the runway, the pilot spotted the vehicles, accelerated, gained some height and took a round in the sky before landing again after some time, according to official sources.
“Although it is too early to hold anybody accountable as of now, I think the Air Traffic Control (ATC) authorities are to be blamed for this,” said an official on the condition of anonymity.
“How could the ATC grant permission to the vehicles after having cleared the official plane for landing? This could have been a disaster if not for the presence of mind the pilot Mr. Sethi,” he added.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Rakesh Sahnni has written a letter to the Central Civil Aviation Secretary seeking an explanation for the incident, which could have claimed the lives of the CM and the Governor.