A major tragedy was averted on Friday (March 24) after an Air India and Nepal Airlines aircraft came close to collision mid-air but the warning systems alerted the pilots whose timely action prevented the disaster, the news agency PTI reported on Sunday citing authorities. The Nepal Airlines aircraft coming to Kathmandu from Kuala Lumpur and the Air India aircraft coming to Kathmandu from New Delhi almost collided.
According to Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) spokesperson Jagannath Niroula, the Air India aircraft was descending from 19,000 feet while the Nepal Airlines aircraft was flying at an altitude of 15,000 feet at the same location. Niroula added that after it was shown on the radar that the two aircraft were in proximity, the Nepal Airlines aircraft descended to 7,000 feet.
Two officials suspended for ‘carelessness’
Niroula also told PTI that the CAAN suspended two officials of the air traffic controller department for “carelessness”. These two officials were in charge of the control room at the time of the incident. The Civil Aviation Authority has formed a three-member probe committee to investigate the matter.
This incident comes days after a Shree Airlines Dash 8 turboprop made a safe emergency landing in Nepal on March 9 after an “indication of fire” in one of its engines. The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa in southwest Nepal with 78 people, including the crew, on board. The aircraft landed safely in Kathmandu and all passengers and crew were safe, Niroula said on March 9.
On January 15, an ATR 72 aircraft owned by Yeti Airlines carrying 72 people crashed before its scheduled landing in Pokhara. All people on board, including four crew, were killed.
(With inputs from agencies)
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