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Collision averted at Mumbai airport

Mumbai: A collision between two aircraft ferrying 220 passengers was averted at the Mumbai airport on Sunday as the pilots aborted take-off at the last minute after they were reportedly given the green signal to become airborne from “diagonal” runways simultaneously.

“At 7.45 a.m., an Air India and a Jet Airways aircraft aborted take-off from the cross runway,” a Mumbai International Airport Ltd. (MIAL) spokesperson said.

There were 120 passengers, including four children, on board the Jet Airways’ Mumbai-Kolkata flight, while Air India’s Mumbai-New Delhi-Shanghai flight had 104 passengers.

“The two aircraft were on the diagonal runways. They were given clearance to take off by the ATC that subsequently asked them to abort the take-off,” an Air India spokesperson said.

ATC officials were not available for comment.

“Our pilot was given permission to take off from runway (14/32 cross runway). The Air India pilot of Flight 348 misunderstood the signal and started taking off from the main runway (09/27),” a Jet Airways spokesperson told PTI here.

The ATC asked the Air India pilot to abort the take-off, the spokesperson said. “Our pilot also applied the brakes as a precautionary measure.”

The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation has ordered an inquiry. DGCA officials were awaiting data from the cockpit voice recorder as well the Flight Data Recorder of both the aircraft. — PTI

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