Last Updated: January 19, 2023, 12:42 IST
Amid furore over the “inadvertent opening of an emergency door” of a Chennai-Tiruchirapalli IndiGo Airline flight by Tejasvi Surya on December 10, the Bengaluru South MP has known as the incident “a political hit job”.
“I don’t want to glorify these political hit jobs by commenting on them. My focus is my work to my constituency and party,” Surya advised News18 when requested concerning the incident.
News18 had on January 17 revealed unique particulars on what occurred inside flight 6E 7339 on the day of the incident. Confirming News18’s report, Union Civil Aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia mentioned “it was important not to be circumspect”.
“Look at the facts. The door did open by mistake while the plane was on the ground , all checks were taken and only after that, the plane was allowed to take-off… And he also said sorry for it himself,” Scindia told reporters in Delhi.
Corroborating to the News18 report, a fellow passenger, who was travelling alongside Surya and Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai, further described what actually took place inside the IndiGo flight.
“I was sitting on the aisle seat on the left side of the aircraft and the flights were already delayed due to heavy storms. Both Tejasvi Surya and Annamalai were seated on the same row as me but on the right side. Surya was seated next to the Emergency exit,” a fellow passenger described to News18 whereas in search of anonymity.
He further said, “I saw Surya reaching out to close the vent of the air conditioner. While withdrawing his hand down, his elbow touched against the door. It looked as if the door had popped out and moved out of its position. Nothing was done on purpose. It (door) came off slightly away from its setting as I saw it from where I sat.”
Surya’s co-passenger went on to clarify that the door was not removed from its position or unhooked but looked slightly out of position.
“Surya alerted the cabin crew immediately, and one of the senior members inspected it. She, in turn, informed the captain of the aircraft who then announced that the flight will be de-boarded to conduct a full safety check of the aircraft before taking-off,” recalled the passenger who is a student from Tiruchirapalli.
The MP formally reported the incident on the request of the airline company in writing. He stated he was “utterly shocked and surprised” to see the door moving so easily with the touch of the MP.
“It was not an apology letter, rather it was just a simple incident report by an alert passenger,” the co-passenger said over the phone.
When contacted, Surya agreed with the co-passenger’s account to News18.
The passenger went on to say many senior residents had been on the flight that day and he heard the MP “feeling bad” concerning the delay.
“He merely apologised for the inconvenience that the seniors had to undergo. He also apologised to me as it was an early morning flight and everybody had to be at their destination at a designated time,” the co-passenger said.
He further said an elderly passenger told him it was “good karma” that the glitch was identified before the take-off.”
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