At least fifteen (15) people suffered minor injuries after a Jet Airways plane carrying 154 people and 7 crew members skidded off the runway during an early morning take-off at Goa, India’s Dabolim airport on Tuesday.
The Boeing 737 had just arrived from Dubai and was headed for Mumbai after a brief stop-over at Goa when it encountered difficulties during take-off procedure around 5:00 am.
Witnesses said they saw ‘smoke coming out of the cabin’ as the aircraft made a 360-degree spin before skidding off the runway and tilting on its side.
Most of those injured reportedly got hurt as they were trying to escape after panic ensued among the passengers.
The Indian Navy said it prevented the incident from turning into a ‘catastrophe’ because of the prompt emergency response.
At least one passenger said he fractured his leg during the commotion.
“The moment the plane started running on the runway, it slipped into the nearby field and there was smoke inside the flight,” said Dinesh Kumar who spoke with Times Now TV channel.
Damage to the plane’s front undercarriage and wings can be seen on images shown on local television reports.
Meanwhile, the Jet Airways has released a statement, saying: “The flight 9W 2374 from Goa-Mumbai skidded off the runway at Dabolim airport this morning due to a technical glitch while aligning for takeoff.”
It added: “Few guests have sustained minor injuries during the evacuation process and medical assistance is being coordinated by the Jet Airways team and the airport authorities.”
Investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident.