Over 55 passengers of Alliance Airlines had a narrow escape after the aircraft was hit by lightening minutes after taking off from Sri Guri Ramdas Ji International Airport, Amritsar, on Friday.
Alliance Airlines is a subsidiary of Air India.
Vikram Mahldar, a resident of Saya Zenith Apartments, Indirapuram, was on flight 9616 of Alliance Airlines, which took off at 9 am from Amritsar to Delhi. He recounted his horrifying experience to City Spidey. "Barely 15 minutes after take off, we saw a blast outside the left side of the window of the plane followed by a loud thud. All the passengers started to panic. Immediately after, water started filling inside the cabin, which left passengers petrified."
"The cabin staff then informed that the leakage had happened owing to some malfunction in the AC vent," Mahldar further said.
"However, soon after, the pilot announced that the plane has been struck by the lightning and for the safety of the passengers, the trip needed to be aborted," he added.
The plane made emergency landing back at Amritsar airport. After reaching the ground, the passengers were made to sit inside the plane for more than half an hour, Mahldar said.
The airplane staff wanted to repair the malfunction and prepare the plane for flight again, but passengers refused.
"Alternative arrangements were done for the passengers. However, just 8-9 of us availed that, the rest left," he said.
The unprofessional attitude of the airport authority rattled Mahldar.
He said, "Even after the announcement by pilot, they refused to accept that the plane was hit by lightning and maintained that it was some technical issue inside the plane.”
He also overheard a few engineers saying that it was the first trip of the aircraft.