New Delhi: Five school students, who were
partying on a South Delhi terrace last weekend, apparently
helped save over 350 lives when they saw flames coming out of
the engine of an aircraft that had just taken off and alerted
Their swift action followed by the urgent response of
the police led the air traffic control (ATC) to clear the
runway for the New York-bound Air India plane to return to
base and land safely under emergency conditions last Saturday,
police said today.
Air India officials said the pilots had noticed the
flames soon after take-off and had already sought permission
for an emergency landing from the ATC. All those on board were
They said the boys could have noticed the plane when
it was returning to land.
Air India`s Boeing 777 (Long Range) plane, with 339
passengers and 16 crew members on board, was operating as
flight AI-101 from New Delhi to New York. It took off around
0130 hours on the intervening night of July 16 and 17 as per
Soon after take off, the right engine developed
technical trouble, prompting the pilots to immediately turn
At that time, five school students - Kartik Bhadolia,
Jaideep Gosai, Himanshu Soni, Mannan Soni and Malik Gilani,
who were partying on the terrace of a house in Saket, spotted
sparks and flame from the engine.