An air hostess has suffered serious injuries after falling off an Air India plane in a freak accident during take-off at Mumbai's international airport this morning. Harsha Lobo, 53, is in hospital with multiple fractures. She fell off while "closing the door of the aircraft" before take-off, the airline said in a statement, adding that it was investigating why.
Flight AI 864 from Mumbai to New Delhi was about to take off at about 7 am when Ms Lobo fell several metres to the hard tarmac. The flight was delayed for over an hour.
"In an unfortunate incident, one of our cabin crew (members), Harsha Lobo, fell down on the tarmac from the Boeing-777 aircraft door while closing it. She sustained injuries to her legs and has been taken to the Nanavati Hospital for further treatment," Air India said in a statement.
Ms Lobo has a compound fracture in the right leg, both heels and soft tissue injuries to her chest, abdomen and lower spine, said hospital sources. A team of orthopaedic specialists are taking care of her, Nanavati Hospital chief Rajendra Patankar told reporters.
Debt-hit Air India has faced quite a few embarrassing incidents in the last few months. Last week, the state-run carrier grounded two pilots after one of its jets carrying 136 people hit an airport boundary wall on take-off and then flew for almost three hours with a damaged body before landing safely.
In December 2015, a technician working for Air India died after being sucked into a jet engine as the plane pushed back for take-off at Mumbai airport. The tragedy happened when the co-pilot mistook a signal from ground staff and started the engine.