Cargo aircraft catches fire, runway blocked for 3 hours

The main runway at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport was blocked for about three hours Saturday after a Russian charter cargo aircraft caught fire while landing.

The secondary runway 32 was immediately activated after the closure of runway 27, ensuring other operations and flights were not affected, said a spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) that manages the airport.

At 12.43 pm, an airside team of MIAL noticed that the charter cargo aircraft (AN 74) had caught fire. Lot of smoke was coming out of its under carriage.

The team immediately coordinated with Air Traffic Control (ATC) and found that starboard tyre of the aircraft had burst.

ATC advised the pilot to switch off engine, activated emergency services and sought fire assistance, the MIAL spokesperson said, adding that there were no injuries or damage to cargo.

At 3.43 pm, the aircraft was towed to a stand after replacing both its tyres, he said.

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