One dead, 8 injured after roof collapses at Delhi Airport, flight operations suspended at Terminal 1

Civil Aviation Minister Rammohan Naidu ordered a probe into the incident as well as a survey of infrastructure in all airports across the country.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 03:30 IST

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New Delhi: In a tragic incident that raised questions on the infrastructure in the national capital's airport, one person was killed and eight were injured on Friday morning a portion of the roof of the Terminal-1 collapsed on cars, including taxis, amid heavy downpour that threw traffic on roads and air into chaos.

Civil Aviation Minister Rammohan Naidu, who visited the spot, ordered a probe into the incident at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here as well as a survey of infrastructure in all airports across the country. Four vehicles were also damaged in the incident.

The incident led to war of words with Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge saying, "corruption and criminal negligence is responsible for the collapse of shoddy infrastructure falling like a deck of cards, in the past 10 years of Modi Government."

Government sources sought to turn the tables alleging that the building was inaugurated in 2009 and Congress should be held responsible as it were in power. Opposition sources countered it saying the Modi government is resorting to the usual blame game and the reason is that no adequate repair work was done.

Flight operations at Terminal-1 were suspended till further orders and the flights operating from there were shifted to Terminals 2 and 3. Only IndiGo and SpiceJet operate services from Terminal-1. Overall, Delhi airport  handles around 1,400 flight movements daily.

The incident took place around 5 AM as heavy rains lashed the capital from 3 AM with the weather office recording around 228 mm of rains within hours. Three fire-tenders were sent after a call about the incident was received by the Delhi Fire Service around 5:30 AM. A comprehensive search operation was conducted to ensure that no one was trapped in the damaged vehicles.

An official said one person was killed as he succumbed to his injuries during treatment. Five others are undergoing treatment. One person was rescued from a car on which an iron beam had fallen.

Besides the roof sheet, the support beams also collapsed, damaging the cars parked in the pick-up and drop area of the terminal-1.

The Civil Aviation Minister, who also met the injured, said that he was monitoring the situation and the injured have been shifted to the hospital. "Personally monitoring the roof collapse incident at T1 Delhi Airport. First responders are working at the site. Also advised the airlines to assist all affected passengers at T1. The injured have been evacuated to hospital. Rescue operations are still ongoing," he posted on 'X'.

The Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) officials said arrivals of flights at Terminal-1 continued till 10:30 AM but operations were suspended fully after that. Departures were fully suspended at 7:30 AM. IndiGo flights arriving at and departing from T1 are being shifted to T2 and T3 while the flights of SpiceJet are being shifted to T2, DIAL said.

In a statement, the DIAL said, "due to heavy rain since early this morning, a portion of the canopy at the old Departure forecourt of Delhi Airport's Terminal 1 collapsed around 5 AM. There are injuries reported, and emergency personnel are working to provide all necessary assistance and medical aid to those affected. As a result of this incident, all departures from Terminal 1 are temporarily suspended, and check-in counters are closed as a safety measure."

A statement said the the cause for the collapse is being assessed and the primary cause seems to be the continued heavy rainfall.

Further, a Technical Committee has been formed by DIAL to investigate the cause of the incident and will give the report as soon as possible. In addition, DIAL is working with all relevant agencies, including Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Bureau of Civil Aviation (BCAS), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Delhi Police and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are jointly working to assess the situation and restore operations.

In a statement, an IndiGo spokesperson said flight operations are impacted due to structural damage at T1 due to adverse weather conditions and it has led to flight cancellations in Delhi as passengers are not able to enter the terminal. "Passengers already inside the terminal will be able to board their planned flights, but those with flights later in the day will be offered alternatives," the airline said.

SpiceJet said that flights have been cancelled as T1 will remain partially closed for operations until further notice.

Published 28 June 2024, 01:23 IST

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