BENGALURU- On Friday (Sep 8, 2023) night, a tense situation unfolded on the tarmac at Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) when thick smoke was detected emanating from an Air India (AI) A320 aircraft that had just arrived from Mumbai (BOM).
Airport firefighters promptly responded, using water to extinguish the smoke, and fortunately, there were no injuries reported as a result of the incident.
Air India Flight Reported Smoke
Air India subsequently confirmed that the situation was not a cause for alarm, and the aircraft managed to return to Mumbai from Bengaluru as scheduled.
Sources indicated that the incident occurred around 8:40 pm as the Airbus A320 belonging to Air India was connecting to an aerobridge at Gate 10 of Terminal 2 at the airport.
While the aircraft’s engine was operating, an unexpected situation arose as smoke was suddenly observed emanating from the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) beneath the aircraft’s tail. The incident unfolded rapidly, with additional smoke emerging from the APU.
The airport’s Fire Department was immediately notified in response to the situation. Three fire tenders swiftly arrived at the scene, surrounding the aircraft. As a precautionary measure, ground staff members were directed to relocate to a safer area.
One of the fire tenders employed a high-pressure water jet to target the tail area of the aircraft, effectively extinguishing the smoke originating from the APU. Importantly, there were no passengers on board the aircraft when this incident occurred.
Vistara Aircraft Repositioned
At the nearby Gate 11 of Terminal 2, a Vistara (UK) Airlines aircraft that was in the process of preparing for takeoff to Mumbai with passengers on board was relocated to a safer location as a precautionary measure amid concerns of a potential fire situation.
After a brief delay, the aircraft later departed for Mumbai, as confirmed by airport sources.
Rohit Sharma, a passenger aboard the Vistara flight that was being pushed back onto the tarmac for takeoff, recounted observing one of the fire tenders employing high-pressure water to extinguish the smoke in the tail area of the aircraft.
Notably, there were no passengers present on the aircraft during the incident.
According to an Air India spokesperson, the aircraft in question, AI641, had landed at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) at 8:25 pm on Friday from Mumbai and was scheduled for its return flight.
Engineers had identified a minor heating issue on the aircraft’s tail end, resulting in smoke detection. However, they had the situation under control.
As a precautionary measure, the Bengaluru Airport safety team summoned the fire tenders. Following the incident, the same flight proceeded with its return to Mumbai on schedule on Friday night, with passengers on board.
On July 1, 2023, the flag carrier of UAE, Emirates (EK) Airlines Boeing 777, caught fire at St. Petersburg Airport (LED) in Russia.
According to sources, when this fire incident occurred, Emirates was preparing for the return flight to Dubai (DXB). Further, the fire team did a great job and ensured it did not spread to other parts.
The Twitter user shared the video of the incident, and if we closely look into it, we can identify that the Auxiliary Power Unit or APU might have caught fire. For those who don’t know what APU is, here’s a brief description of it.
The Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) enables an aircraft to function independently without the need for external equipment like a ground power unit, an external air-conditioning unit, or a high-pressure air start cart, thereby ensuring autonomous operation.
APU compartment has a firewall, which can prevent damage to another part of the aircraft and stop spreading it downstream. But the APU section also has fire extinguishers, so they have probably used them, but it might not be enough.
Stay tuned with us. Further, follow us on social media for the latest updates.