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SpiceJet plane veers off runway on landing; pilots suspended

A Boeing 737 aircraft operated by low-cost carrier SpiceJet Monday overshot the runway while landing at the Shirdi airport, bringing the regional facility to a complete halt, airport director Dhiren Bhosale said.

Mumbai: A Boeing 737 aircraft operated by low-cost carrier SpiceJet Monday overshot the runway while landing at the Shirdi airport, bringing the regional facility to a complete halt, airport director Dhiren Bhosale said.

The incident took place at 1630 hours, the airline said, adding all the passengers and the crew are safe.

The airline also grounded both the pilots pending an internal enquiry, while the regulator DGCA has dispatched off an official to the airport to carry out the initial probe into the mishap.

However, a full-fledged investigation will be conducted by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, which has the mandate to probe all serious incidents and accidents involving all commercial and private planes.

According to sources, passengers and the crew were trapped inside the plane for over two-and-a-half hours, but are however, safe, and efforts are on to tow away the aircraft from the runway and resume operations at the earliest.

"A SpiceJet aircraft shot off the runway by about 50 meters and skidded off. There is no injury to any passenger and the crew, though. Our first priority is to evacuate passengers without compromising their safety," Bhosale told PTI over phone from Shirdi airport that primarily serves the pilgrims to the popular Hindu shrine, and is around 180 km northeast off the megapolis.

The number of passengers and crew on board the B737- 800 aircraft is not known immediately, Bhosale added. The airline also refused to share the passenger and crew details.

He said the aircraft is stuck on the runway due to which all arrivals and departures are halted.

"We are making all efforts to tow away the aircraft and clear the runway to resume operations as soon as possible," Bhosale said.

SpiceJet in a statement said its B737-800 aircraft (SG 946) from New Delhi to Shirdi was involved in the incident.

"While landing at Shirdi, the aircraft overshot the runway. The passengers and the crew who are safe are being deplaned normally," the airline said.