Bees delay flight by an hour

Last Updated 10 September 2012, 19:03 IST

A flight was delayed in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata when a swarm of bees entered the aircraft’s engine room prompting authorities to postpone the take off.

Interestingly, the incident is not a rare one in Kolkata airport as there are several instances when jackals or birds have blocked the runway and delayed the flights. However, this time, it was a swarm of bees which did the foul play.

It began with some flight staff noticing a humming sound in the cargo section of the aircraft of Patna bound Indigo flight 6E-339 which was supposed to take off at 9.20 am.

The fire brigade was summoned immediately. It was found that bees had entered the engine room which might cause serious problem not only for the passengers but also to the flight itself and so the flight was immediately put on hold, an airport official said.  “The passengers were seated in their seats and two fire engines, supported by the ground staff, drove the creatures away from the flight after an effort of nearly 40 minutes,” an Indigo official said.

“As the bees entered the engine room, it was not impossible to use water there. Instead, we had to use Carbon Dioxide and we had to be careful because excess use of this gas might cause problem for the passengers. Ultimately, we were successful in driving the bees out of the aircraft,” a Fire Brigade official said.

The passengers, who were unaware of the bees’ presence in the beginning, had some panic moments when they came to know about the exercise in the cargo and engine room.

“The flight was about to take off and then suddenly it came to halt. Though the flight staff repeatedly told us not to be worried, we were little scared. Ultimately, after the bees were driven off, we were told about the incident. There was flurry of laughter all around the aircraft,” Amitava Biswas who was on the flight, told Deccan Herald.

The flight finally took off at 10.05 AM, sources said, adding that none of the passengers were stung by the bees.

“As extension work of the airport is going on, we have chopped off the trees which had been a natural habitat for these creatures. As they have nowhere else to go, they entered the aircraft,” a senior airport official noted.

(Published 10 September 2012, 18:51 IST)

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