India, Aussie teams have close shave mid-air

Published: Monday, October 15, 2007, 13:14 [IST]
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Nagpur: An aircraft of a private airline, carrying some members of the Indian and Australian cricket teams, had to make an emergency landing after suffering a bird hit shortly after take-off here on Monday.

Airport Controller S N Borkar told UNI that the Jet Airways aircraft took off on a scheduled flight to Mumbai this morning with 139 passengers on board, including the cricketers. However, barely five minutes after the take-off, the pilot reported a bird hit and requested permission from the air traffic controllers to return to the Nagpur airport.

Permission was granted, and the flight landed back safely, about 23 minutes after taking off, Borkar said.

''Officials of Jet Airways have assured us that members of the Indian and Australian cricket teams will be accommodated on another aircraft of the airline. The other passengers are being accommodated on flights of other services, and we hope to complete the process by 1300 hrs,'' Mr Borkar informed.

The aircraft is being inspected, he added.

Meanwhile, the cricketers have been ferried back to the team hotel where they had stayed overnight after yesterday's game in Nagpur, a spokesman for the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) told reporters.

Six members of the Indian cricket team had left for Mumbai last night itself, the spokesman added.


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