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Air India London flight returns to Mumbai over 'rat on board'

Published 31/12/2015

An Air India plane returned to Mumbai after passengers spotted a rat on board (AP)
An Air India plane returned to Mumbai after passengers spotted a rat on board (AP)

An Air India plane flying to London was forced to return to Mumbai after passengers spotted a rat on board, the airline said.

Although the animal was not found, the pilot returned to Mumbai because of passenger safety concerns, Air India said in a statement.

Passengers were later flown to London in a different aircraft.

The plane would be fumigated and checked before being returned to service, an official said.

Maintenance workers would have to make sure that the rat did not damage equipment or chew any wires and the plane is certified to be rodent-free.

Air India suffered two other mishaps the same day.

A pilot aborted take-off from a northern Indian city after a stray dog ran on to the runway as the plane was taxiing.

An official at the airport in Amritsar said the pilot spotted the dog running into the path of the front wheels of the plane. He applied the emergency brakes and returned the aircraft to its parking bay. All 171 passengers and crew later boarded the same plane, which took off for London.

In another incident, an Air India plane from Mumbai was hit by a catering van at the airport in Newark, New Jersey, in the United States.

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