Mumbai: An Air India flight carrying over 300 people from here to Newark was on Thursday diverted to Kazakhstan after detection of fumes in the cargo hold that triggered a fire alarm.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said all passengers are safe and that there was no reason for worry while a relief aircraft is already on the way from New Delhi to ferry the stranded passengers to Newark.
The Boeing 777-300 ER plane had landed at the Aktobe international airport in Kazakhstan at around 0800 hours after "some alarm went off" while it was on its way to Newark.
An Air India spokesperson said the flight was diverted due to technical reasons. There was some alarm that went off and the engineers are inspecting the flight, he added.
An airline source said that fire alarm was set off after fumes were detected from the cargo hold of the plane. "The fumes were possibly from some perishable items that might have been treated with chemicals," the source added.
Since the fire extinguisher is being used in the "slow mode", it would take quite sometime before the aircraft is declared as again fit to be airborne. Hence, a relief aircraft is being dispatched, the source said.
In a tweet, the airline said the flight has been diverted on account of operational reasons and that all passengers are being taken care of.
A relief aircraft has left from New Delhi to Aktobe to ferry the stranded passengers to Newark.
"Our Ambassador Shri Harsh K Jain has informed me that all passengers are safe. There is no reason for worry," Swaraj said in a tweet.
Generally, Boeing 777-300 ER has a seating capacity of around 350 people.
"#AI CMD Mr Lohani spoke to Captain Aroob. The pax (passengers) are satisfied and happy that the flt (flight) safely landed in #Kazakhstan," Air India said in a tweet.
Aroob is the captain of the flight that was diverted to Kazakhstan.