Staff Reporter

Bangalore: A Sri Lankan Airlines cargo aircraft got stuck on the runway after one of its engines developed a technical snag at the HAL airport here on Thursday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) Soumendhu Mukherji told The Hindu that the Colombo-bound cargo flight UL9172 developed a technical snag while taking off at 7.30 p.m. The runway was blocked for over an hour.

There was no report of any casualty though seven people were reportedly in the aircraft when the incident occurred, he added. Regional Director of Airport Authority of India Navindar Koushal said air traffic was disrupted and more than 20 flights were delayed.

The operation of international flights, which begin around 9 p.m., was likely to be affected by this incident, sources said. Afsal K. of Hyderabad said that his flight to Bangalore was delayed.

“We had to spend three hours in the air. It is three hours’ worth business wasted for me,” he added.

P. Shahul, a passenger of Indian from Chennai, said that his flight was delayed by two hours.

“We did not know the correct reason and had to wait for a signal to land for almost two hours,” he said.

Flights cancelled

Though the nationwide strike by Indian ground duty staff was called off on Thursday afternoon, the airline cancelled a flight each to Pune, Goa and Mumbai, and an international flight to Maldives from Bangalore. Fearing disruptions, many passengers had apparently opted for private airlines. For instance, the flight to Singapore left at 4.20 a.m. with only 72 passengers onboard. The flight to Hyderabad that took off from the HAL airport at 4.35 a.m. had 93 passengers.