This Article is From Nov 07, 2014

I Was on the Plane That Hit a Buffalo

(Prabhakar Joshi, 52, is a Surat-based astrologer. He describes himself as "a frequent traveler")

Call it intuition, but when the SpiceJet ground staffer (she had a great smile, I remember) handed over my boarding pass, I felt like something was about to happen. I mentioned it to her, but she assured me nothing could go wrong. "We are there with you," she said.

Our flight (SG622), which was earlier scheduled for 5 pm, was already late to take off from Surat. It was 7 pm, and the plane was taxiing down the runway. As we got closer to take off, all of a sudden we heard a loud boom, and the plane abruptly stopped.

The passengers panicked. The sound had come from below. I thought the engine had stopped working.

No announcement was made, no assurance given.

The plane then moved from the runway  back to where it had been parked. It was only after we got out and back into the airport, that the airline staff told us what had happened. Our plane had hit a buffalo(!) and the engine was damaged.

At first the rumour was that there had been not one, but three buffaloes on the runway, and one of them got killed. It is difficult to believe that we hit a buffalo who died.

We are lucky to have escaped unhurt. But what a shame for India's image and reputation.

The transit passengers suffered the most - some had international flights to catch.

I also heard that two airport officials were suspended. But I am not sure if this is true. How will it change things?

We finally left at 11 pm, and reached Delhi safely.

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