Emergency Door Opened ‘by Mistake’, Says Aviation Minister Scindia on Indigo Plane Row

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Last Updated: January 18, 2023, 16:55 IST

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. (Photo: News 18)

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. (Photo: News 18)

Scindia’s response comes a day after reviews said that BJP MP Tejasvi Surya had by accident opened the exit after boarding the flight at Chennai airport final month

The emergency door of an IndiGo flight was opened “by mistake”, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia mentioned on Wednesday a day after reviews said that BJP chief Tejasvi Surya by accident opened the exit after boarding the flight at Chennai airport final month.

“It’s important to look at the facts. The door was opened by him (Surya) by mistake when the flight was on the ground and after all checks, the flight was allowed to take off. He also apologised for the mistake,” Scindia mentioned.

Soon after the incident on the flight, Surya stood up and apologised to the passengers onboard due to the delay that was being prompted because of the security protocols and pressurisation checks that had been being carried out.

This was additionally corroborated by the airline firm, IndiGo, which issued an announcement saying that “the passenger immediately apologised for their action”.

“As per the SOPs, the incident was logged and the aircraft underwent mandatory engineering check which led to a delay in the flight’s departure,” it added.

The incident

The incident occurred on IndiGo plane 7339 (ATR) when it was about to take off from Chennai to move in the direction of Tiruchirapalli. The air hostess, who was giving security directions to the passengers, was immediately interrupted when two passengers — Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya and Tamil Nadu BJP president Okay Annamalai who had been onboard — instructed her that the emergency door had been inadvertently opened.

In an ATR, which is a small flight, the emergency door is on the entrance. While most seats have handles, the seats close to the emergency exit wouldn’t have an armrest. Surya was evenly resting his hand on the door and after some time indicated to the air hostess that the door might have opened barely, sources had instructed News18.

“She then began to take the safety precautions that are required since the lever had been pushed down unknowingly,” mentioned a Tamil Nadu BJP leader who’s within the know of the incident.

The Tamil Nadu BJP chief had accompanied Surya to handle the BJYM Tamil Nadu state government assembly in Tiruchirapalli on December 10. Surya is but to place out an announcement on the difficulty.

Opposition flak

The opposition events, in the meantime, jumped onto the allegation bandwagon, claiming that the “accidental” opening of the emergency door of the IndiGo flight by Tejasvi Surya was an enormous mistake and put lives in danger.

The Congress questioned why the BJP was silent on the matter and “hid the incident for so long”. “Tejasvi Surya is an example of what will happen if children playing games are given the proprietorship. An act of children’s mischief by trying to open the emergency exit door of the plane has come to light. Why prank with the lives of passengers?” Karnataka Congress said.

AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Randeep Singh Surjewala in a tweet said, “The BJP VIP Brats ! How dare the airline complain? Is it the norm for the BJP power elite? Did it compromise passenger safety? Ohhh! U can’t ask questions about BJP’s entitled VIP’s !”

The plane incident was first tweeted by Tamil Nadu’s electricity minister Senthil Balaji on December 29.

In his tweet in Tamil, the DMK minister makes the allegation that it was Surya who had put the lives of several IndiGo passengers at risk.

“On December 10th, the ‘photoshop’ party’s state president, as well as the youth wing’s national president, irresponsibly opened the emergency exit in a flight. As per the rules, all the passengers were de-boarded for checks. The safety of the passengers was compromised by this. The flight was delayed by three hours. Since their clan is habituated to writing apology letters, on that day, a letter was written and given. Why has the news media not taken it up?” mentioned Balaji’s tweet.

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