Jet Airways flight narrowly averts mid-air crash

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Old 22-Jul-2011
Jet Airways flight narrowly averts mid-air crash

Guwahati: A Jet Airways flight with 134 passengers on board narrowly averted a mid-air collision yesterday, triggering panic aboard, passengers said.

The aircraft, which was flying from New Delhi to Guwahati, was flying over Patna when it abruptly lost control, leading to chaos inside.

"First the flight abruptly turned right and then began to plummet. We thought it would crash. There was chaos and people were screaming inside," Caushik Bezboruah, chief executive officer of News Live, a satellite TV channel from Guwahati, told IANS.

"I heard people crying, some praying on top of their voices. It was a chaotic situation for close to a minute before the pilot took control," added Bhaskar Sharma, director of News Live.

Both Bezboruah and Sharma were seated in the emergency exit row of the plane. Soon after, the pilot announced that another plane was approaching from the opposite direction and was inside the "safe zone".

‘The pilot said the flight's computer system automatically [turned] the plane away from the path of the approaching flight to avoid a mid-air collision," Bezboruah said.

Safe landing

The incident took place around 11.35am. The Jet Airways flight landed safely in Guwahati around 1pm.

"No one was injured but I saw a woman with an infant frantically trying to reach her seat from the washroom when this incident took place. She didn't manage to reach her seat and instead sat on the aisle," Sharma said.

Among those on board the plane included Assam Congress president Bhubaneswar Kalita and Congress MP Rani Narah.

Jet authorities in Guwahati refused to comment on the incident saying a formal statement, if any, would be issued by their head office in Mumbai.

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