Guwahati: Around 160 passengers, including Manipur Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren, had a close shave when their Air India flight suffered a bird hit while landing at the airport in Guwahati.
The Delhi-Guwahati-Imphal flight was grounded yesterday and passengers travelling to Imphal were left stranded.
"Our AI flight was hit by a flying bird and airplane landed safely in Guwahati today," Mr Biren tweeted yesterday.
An Air India spokesperson confirmed the incident and said the flight carrying 160 passengers was grounded for inspection by a team of engineers.
"The impact was so powerful that it could make a hole. It (the bird hit) occurred when the aircraft was on descend and wheels unfolded," he said in the same tweet.
The Manipur chief minister, however, in another tweet pulled up Air India for the "poor and inefficient" management at the Guwahati airport.
"Air India management in Guwahati Airport is so poor and inefficient. Till now, many passengers are inside the aircraft without food and accommodation," he tweeted.
"Only three AI staff seen there. Extra flight also not possible till tomorrow afternoon, as per AI authority," Biren said in the tweet.
In response, the Air India spokesperson said the airlines did its best to take care of the stranded passengers.
"After the aircraft landed in Guwahati, the airport staff found it was a bird hit so the plane was grounded for further inspection. We did our utmost to take care of the stranded passengers," the spokesperson told PTI.
He also said that the Air India has sent "men and material" from Kolkata to Guwahati to check the aircraft and they are on the job of making the aircraft air worthy.
The spokesperson further said that the Air India is operating an additional flight to fly stranded passengers which will depart for Imphal this afternoon.