Panaji : A Jet Airways flight with 161 people on board veered off the runway at Dabolim Airport in Goa while aligning for take off to Mumbai early today, with 15 passengers suffering injuries during evacuation.
Navy said its prompt response in rescuing passengers onboard the flight averted the incident from turning into a “catastrophe”.
The incident took place at around 5 AM when flight 9W 2374, which had arrived from Dubai and bound for Mumbai, was about to take off.
When the evacuation was on, the aircraft tilted forward, an eyewitness said, triggering panic among passengers.
Navy sources said 15 people suffered “minor injuries and fractures” in the process.
“Few guests have sustained minor injuries during the evacuation process and medical assistance is being coordinated by the Jet Airways team and the airport authorities,” the airlines said in a statement.
“When people were getting down the plane, it suddenly tilted forward triggering panic and chaos,” a passenger told reporters at Chicalim Cottage Hospital in Vasco.
Besides 154 passengers, there were 7 crew members on board.
The Goa airport is located in Indian Navy’s facility, INS Hansa in Vasco town, nearly 25 km from here. The runway was made available for flight operations at 9 AM, hours before the initial deadline of 12.30 PM.
A Naval spokespersons said, “Navy responded within 15-20 minutes and all the passengers were evacuated safely out of the aircraft. It would have turned into a catastrophe had the Navy not acted promptly”.