rrow escape for Drukair flight over city
Thunderstorm hits Guwahati, weatherman forecasts torrential rain in next five days
GUWAHATI/ Mirza, April 16: Ninety passengers of the Paro (Bhutan)-Guwahati-Bangkok Drukair flight had a miraculous escape after being caught in a severe hailstorm which dented the aircraft's nose and right engine in air.
The pilot of KB140 flight maneuvered through the storm and landed the aircraft safely at the LGBI airport in Guwahati at around 11.30 am.
Pictures of the aircraft made available to the media showed that its nose cone which houses the radar system was dented at several spots. Damages were also reported in the right engine. The flight coming in to land from Paro was hit by heavy hailstorm during the fil approach, most probably over Garo Hills in Meghalaya.
Airport officials, who credited the pilot for the safe landing, said the aircraft was not in right condition to continue with its journey to Bangkok.
"The passengers are currently stranded at the Guwahati airport. An altertive aircraft is being arranged to carry them to Bangkok," they said.
Severe thunderstorm and hailstorm hit Guwahati and its surrounding areas on Saturday.
The city was engulfed in total darkness and vehicles had to switch on headlights at mid-day as the thunderstorm with heavy rain continued for several hours.
Officials at the Borjhar-based Regiol Meteorological Centre said between 8.30 am to 2.30 pm on Saturday, the city witnessed 35.4 mm rainfall. They have predicted heavy rainfall accompanied by storm in the next five days.