Smoke alarm goes off mid-flight; all 140 passengers disembark safely

A Mumbai-Hyderabad SpiceJet flight made an emergency landing within half-an-hour of taking off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport here early on Friday after a smoke alarm went off in the flight. All the 140 passengers on board disembarked safely, authorities said.

Full emergency was declared at the airport for flight SG 401 at 5.58 a.m. The aircraft, which took off from Mumbai at 5.29 a.m. landed safely on runway 27 at 6.05 a.m., Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL) authorities said.

The passengers said it was a harrowing experience. “It was really bad. Within 20 minutes of the flight taking off, we saw smoke. Our eyes started burning because of the smoke. The pilot announced that we were returning to Mumbai. As we landed, the ambulances and fire engines were waiting,” Ajiv Patil, a local corporator, who was on board, told The Hindu.

He said the airlines personnel told them that the smoke was due to a fire in some baggage.

Smoke-alarm mid-flight

SpiceJet issued a press statement later in the day which stated, “The pilot on board SG-401 observed the smoke alarm in the cargo hold. Following the standard safety procedures and checklists, the captain activated the fire extinguisher in the cargo hold and requested for priority landing. The aircraft landed back in Mumbai and all the passengers are safe. The aircraft was taken to an isolation area and the investigating authorities — the Air Safety wing of Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Safety and the Airport Fire Agencies — were inspecting the aircraft. SpiceJet will thoroughly investigate the aircraft and the cause as soon as we receive the investigation report from the authorities.”