Mumbai : India s aviation regulator has ordered a probe after several people on an Air India Delhi-Shanghai flight were injured in air turbulence and the commander declined to make an emergency landing. Air India officials said flight commander Capt. S.P. Suri and co-pilot Rajesh Mulchandani will be summoned to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation regarding the July 5 incident.
Despite repeated attempts, Puri and a injured crew member from Mumbai who is recuperating for a fracture were not available for comments. Although airline sources said the Airbus A-330 had been grounded since the incident, the airline has officially denied it.
The turbulence hit the aircraft some 90 minutes after take off from New Delhi around 11.45 a.m. with 55 passengers and at least six crew members. As the aircraft was rocked in mid-air for nearly an hour, oxygen masks came out. Some passengers were injured as some of the arm rests broke, overhead bins opened and luggage came crashing down. The toilets also sustained damage.
Despite appeals by screaming and bleeding passengers and requests by crew members, Suri did not divert the flight to a nearby airport for an emergency landing or help, the sources said. The injured included an airhostess from Mumbai, another crew member and at least 15 passengers including a businessman from New Delhi.