Bus driver dozes off, rams aircraft

Bus driver dozes off, rams aircraft
An Alliance Air plane today suffered "extensive" damage when the driver of a tarmac bus ferrying Jet Airways crew apparently dozed off and rammed the parked aircraft with his vehicle following which aviation regulator DGCA has ordered a probe.

No injury has been reported in the accident which occurred at around 5.25 am. Air India's subsidiary Alliance Air's flights to Silchar and Shillong were cancelled as the plane was grounded.

"The DGCA has ordered a detailed inquiry into the accident, while the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will conduct an internal inquiry of its own," Director of the NSC Bose International Airport Anil Kumar Sharma told PTI.

An Air India Spokesperson said the accident occurred on a clear, fogless morning as a Jet Airways tarmac bus intruded into the slot marked at bay 32 for Air India aircraft, which was vacant.

"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," he said.

"The AAI, Police, CISF and other authorities have taken serious note of this 'gross act of negligence' and are also investigating the incident," the spokesperson said. A preliminary investigation by DGCA suggested driver's nodding off as a possible cause of the mishap.

"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.

"The breath analyser test conducted on the driver has established that he was not drunk at all. He has admitted to having dozed off," Sharma said.

The driver Momin Ali, aged about 38, has admitted he felt sleepy because of intense fatigue when the accident took place, he said.

The Air India authority also expressed its regret for the inconvenience caused to passengers scheduled to take the flights to Silchar and Shillong.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways spokesperson said a coach transporting its cabin crew "accidently collided with a stationary aircraft of another airline."

"Jet Airways has started investigation into the incident," the spokesperson for the airliner said.

According to officials at the NSC Bose International Airport, the driver of the Jet Airways bus lost control of the vehicle and hit the aircraft near its left wing.

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