IndiGo airlines just cannot keep itself out of news these days. Panic gripped the passengers aboard IndiGo flight 6E-445 (VT-IGV) after one of the cabin crew on the flight noticed smoke coming out from hand baggage.
The passengers on board the Thiruvananthapuram-Bengaluru flight had complained of a burning smell from a black bag. That is when the one of the cabin crew realized that a personal electronic device (PED), a laptop in this case, was emitting smoke after possibly catching fire.
The airline crew sprayed fire extinguisher, relocated passengers from nearby seats and kept the laptop in a container of water till the plane landed safely.
The Times of India quoted an IndiGo spokeperson saying, "IndiGo crew operating flight 6E-445 from Thiruvananthapuram to Bengaluru noticed the smoke smell in the cabin on November 11, 2017. The crew quickly identified minor sparks coming from the hat-rack of seat 24RH and immediately informed the pilot-in-command. Taking precautionary measures, the cabin crew on priority relocated all passengers from adjacent seats. The aircraft made a normal landing at Bengaluru airport, all passengers were deplaned as per normal procedure and the DGCA was voluntarily informed."
The DGCA has put in place a standard operating procedure to handle such situations. Crew is now trained to immediately spray fire extinguisher on the bag from which smoke is emanating. Once smoke stops, the device is put in a can of water till the aircraft lands safely and then the PED is sent for examination.
The DGCA is contemplating on making fire proof cases mandatory on long flights to avoid any mishaps. PEDs such as power banks, portable mobile charges and e-cigarettes are already banned in check-in baggage in India.
IndiGo Airlines itself has been in the news for all the wrong reasons; drawing flak over allegations of manhandling one of the passengers and then a woman passenger on a wheelchair getting injured.