Air India flight flies for three hours after crashing into a wall

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"The plane lost contact with air traffic control officials and landed in Mumbai after around four hours", an official said. No one was injured during the incident.

The flight IX-611 hit the ATC compound wall at Trichy Airport and was damaged.

Pictures show a deep gash on the plane, and a space in the airport wall. While the source said the flight had to make an emergency landing at the airport due to issues with hydraulic fuel, a spokesperson of the national carrier claimed there was a hydraulic fuel "shortage".

The passengers were shifted to another aircraft at Mumbai to travel to Dubai. The impact tore a hole in the body of the plane but the pilots reported all systems were operating normally and continued to climb to cruising altitude.

The matter was conveyed to the pilot in command.

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Parts of the plane's antenna were also found at the Trichy airport, an officer reportedly said. The pair collectively has over 6,000 flight hours logged with a Boeing 737.

"In order to have continuous attention towards air safety, I have also ordered concerned officials to put in place a regular safety compliance report of all airlines". All passengers were landed safely at Mumbai airport and another aircraft from Mumbai to Dubai was arranged.

After the incident, an internal inquiry has been set up, pilot & co-pilot derostered until the investigation is done.

The airport authorities have started a probe into the freak accident while technicians in Mumbai are examining the damaged aircraft.

Aviation safety consultant Capt Mohan Ranganathan, who was a former instructor pilot of Boeing 737 specialising in wet runway operations training, said "This should be treated not as an incident, but as an accident". The Minister said safety of passengers is of "paramount importance", adding that "growth can't be at the expeneof safety".

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