Passengers of a Delhi-bound Air India flight from here experienced some scary moments on Saturday as the pilot noticed smoke in one of the engines while taxiing for take-off and applied emergency brakes leading to a tyre burst.

One of the left tyres of the Airbus-320 aircraft, having 140 passengers and six crew on board, burst when the plane was taxiing for take-off at around 9.45 am, official sources said.

Air India sources in New Delhi said the pilot noticed smoke in one of the engines, which possibly occurred due to overheating, and applied emergency brakes leading to a tyre burst. The take-off was aborted and the passengers were de-boarded from the Lucknow-Delhi IC-412 flight.

“All the passengers are safe and have been accommodated in a spare aircraft which was sent from Delhi,” an Air India spokesperson said.

“As the plane was in the process of take-off, we heard a loud noise after which the aircraft swayed both ways creating panic among passengers. Some women started crying,” Sunil Kumar, one of the passengers, told reporters here.

He said that later the passengers were told that the incident took place due to a tyre burst.

“During taxiing, pilot detected technical problems in one of the engines and applied emergency brakes which caused a tyre burst. A relief aircraft to carry the passengers was sent from Delhi at around 12.30 pm. The aircraft took off at 1.30 pm from Lucknow and landed in Delhi safely after a 45-minute flight,” the AI spokesperson said.