Passengers of a Dubai-bound Air India Express flight had a miraculous escape when their aircraft's wheels hit a perimeter wall during take off here in the early hours of Friday, officials said.
An Air India Express spokesperson said: "After flight IX 611 from Trichy to Dubai had taken off from Trichy at about 1.30 am today, it was reported by local Airport officials at Trichy that they have observed that Aircraft might have come in contact with the airport perimeter wall".
The airport authorities have started a probe into the freak accident while technicians in Mumbai are examining the damaged aircraft.
In a statement, Air India Express said that an internal inquiry had been set up and the pilot and co-pilot of the flight had been derostered pending investigation into the incident.
Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said the government had recently ordered an independent "airline safety" review of Air India.
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The incident took place at a time when the plane was moving towards the runway with 136 passengers on board.
Tamil Nadu Tourism Minister N. Natarajan visited the Trichy airport and inspected the damage. The matter was conveyed to the pilot in command.
"The 130 passengers and six crew members on-board the aircraft were alighted safely". However, they were asked to divert to Mumbai anyway as a precaution, NDTV reported. The pilots, were reportedly unaware of the damage and reported that all systems were functioning normally.
One of India's oldest airlines, Air India has not turned a profit since 2007.
Air India removed the pilots from duty pending the investigation. The First Officer was Capt. Anurag who has an experience of about 3000 hours on the B 737.