Jet Airways bus driver dozes off, hits Air India plane at Kolkata airport

An Alliance Air aircraft on Tuesday suffered "extensive" damage after the driver of a Jet Airways tarmac bus ferrying its crew dozed off and rammed it into the vacant stationary plane at the airport here.

Kolkata: An Alliance Air aircraft on Tuesday suffered "extensive" damage after the driver of a Jet Airways tarmac bus ferrying its crew dozed off and rammed it into the vacant stationary plane at the airport here.

No injuries have been reported in the incident which occurred at around 5.25 AM. Air India subsidiary Alliance Air's flights to Silchar and Shillong were cancelled as the plane was grounded.

While Air India said the incident was a "gross act of negligence", Jet Airways claimed that the coach accidentally collided with the stationary aircraft.

Airlines sources said the loss, which is being ascertained, will run into crores as besides the actual damage, it will have to remain grounded for some time.

"The breath analyser test conducted on the driver has established that he was not drunk at all. He has admitted to having dozed off (while driving the bus)," Kolkata Airport Director AK Sharma said.

Meanwhile, DGCA has received the preliminary investigation report from its regional office, sources said here.

"Initial report has been submitted and it suggests that the bus driver taking a nap could be one of the possible causes of the accident," DGCA sources said.

According to officials at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose international airport here, the plane was parked at bay 32 and was preparing to leave for Silchar when the driver of the Jet Airways bus lost control of the vehicle which hit the aircraft near its wing.

"The aircraft sustained extensive damage on the right engine, right landing gear and also some other parts because of which the flight operations to Silchar and Shillong had to be cancelled.

"AAI (Airports Authority of India), Police, CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) and other authorities have taken serious note of this gross act of negligence and are investigating the incident," Air India said in a statement.

In a separate statement, Jet Airways said, "No one was injured in the collision" and it has started investigation into the incident.

"A coach transporting Jet Airways cabin crew at the Kolkata airport accidentally collided with a stationary aircraft of another airline," it added.

Air India said it was a clear fogless morning when the Jet Airways tarmac bus intruded into the slot marked at bay 32 and hit the 48-seater 1995 make aircraft VT-ABO (ATR 42).

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