The passenger seated at 12-A in Air India’s flight no IC-727 to Yangon, a Buddhist monk who happened to be a first-time flyer, had no idea that simply fiddling around with the safety clutch will cause a seven-hour delay for his fellow passengers here on Monday.

The 135 passengers onboard were strapped in and ready for take-off when the emergency alarm went off.

A curious passenger, seated next to the emergency exit had pulled the safety clutch just as the doors of the flight were being closed, said Air India spokesperson Pulok Mukherjee.

“Since he pulled the safety clutch the emergency window opened and the emergency bells rang,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

According to the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) guidelines, the passengers had to be de-boarded and a thorough check of the aircraft conducted, he added.

The flight, initially scheduled for 10 a.m., took off at 5 p.m. only after all safety drills were conducted, he said.

“The occurrence of such a situation is rare, but what can you do to prevent such a thing? How can we control it if a passenger sets off an alarm by mistake?” Mr. Mukherjee said.

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