On Monday, a 21-year-old Air India Airbus A-320 landed in emergency conditions in New Delhi due to a hydraulic failure . 146 passengers on board the Khajuraho -Varanasi-New Delhi flight were evacuated via emergency chutes or slides.
But British author William Dalrymple, who was present on the plane , begged to disagree. According to him, an Air India engineer who was flying on the plane with his son told him that a leaking valve was the cause of the fire. "He was incredibly nervous... as he did not believe they had sorted the problem. He was doing a mantra (prayers)," Dalrymple told NDTV .
In a Facebook post, Dalrymple said the plane was on fire, which the airline was aware of in Khajuraho, prompting them to initially get the passengers off the aircraft, Quint reported . "The minute we touched down they said, 'May Day, May Day', evacuating the passengers. They were aware there was a major fault," Dalrymple said.
He maintains that the flight was almost cancelled in Khajuraho. But passengers were told at the last minute that the plane was fixed and would take off for Delhi.
Air India said in a statement said that the incident, which happened around 7.78 pm, was caused by a hydraulic leak, but claimed there was no fire and none of the passengers and crew were injured during evacuation.
"Air India flight 405 Varanasi-Delhi had an emergency landing due to hydraulic leak. This resulted in few sparks at the nose wheel. There was no fire. All 146 passengers were evacuated safely and taken to terminal building. No passenger was injured," the airliner said.