A rat’s tale: Jet back in Mumbai as rodent stowaway spotted

Air India maintenance staff must check for chewed wires and certify aircraft rodent-free

Maintenance workers for Air India will  have to make sure a rat spotted on one of its aircraft did not damage equipment or chew through wires and the plane must be certified as  rodent-free. File photograph: Kevin Frayer/AP Photo

Maintenance workers for Air India will have to make sure a rat spotted on one of its aircraft did not damage equipment or chew through wires and the plane must be certified as rodent-free. File photograph: Kevin Frayer/AP Photo

 

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 rodent 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.

Fumigated and checked

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 must be certified as 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.

Emergency brakes

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.

Reuters