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Featured Image: After the Jet Airways bus rammed into the Air India aircraft at Kolkata airport’s bay no 32 on Tuesday morning. 

Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 22 December: AN Air India aircraft has suffered extensive damages after a coach (bus) belonging to Jet Airways rammed into the aircraft when it was parked at the Kolkata airport this morning.

As a result of the accident, Air India has cancelled its flights to Silchar in Assam and Shillong in Meghalaya for the day. Air India has said that due to unavailability of aircraft, it is unable to arrange an alternative flight for the 44-odd passengers who were booked to fly to Silchar.

The 48-seater ATR-42 aircraft was scheduled to fly to Silchar at 8 am; on returning from Silchar it was to fly to Shillong at 12.35 pm.

According to an Air India spokesperson, the empty aircraft VT-ABO (ATR 42) was parked on bay number 32 and was being readied for its scheduled departure to Silchar. It was during this that around 5.25 am, a Jet Airways tarmac bus that was transporting some cabin crew of the airline rammed into the aircraft’s right side from behind.

The thrust was so intense that the stationary aircraft skidded towards the front for about 10 metres.

“The aircraft has sustained extensive damages on the right engine, right landing gear and also some other parts. The damages are to the tune of a few crores of rupees and the aircraft has been rendered unfit for flight operations,” Air India spokesperson said.

Soon after the incident, the jawans of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that look after the security at the airport, detained the driver of the Jet Airways bus Momin Ali.

“Our officers have questioned him extensively. It appears that the driver had fallen asleep and thus rammed the bus into the aircraft inadvertently. He was not drunk. But a thorough investigation by the police can only ascertain the actual cause of the accident,” said a senior CISF officer unwilling to be named.

On the basis of a complaint lodged by the airport management, the police have now arrested the bus driver.

Commenting on the incident, a Jet Airways spokesperson said that the bus “accidently collided” with the stationary aircraft and that Jet Airways has started investigations into the incident.