Indian jet grounded as rats run riot onboard

Published: August 6, 2014
Rat infestation

In this photograph taken on October 15, 2008, ground crew stand next to a newly-inducted Air India Airbus A319 aircraft during the opening day of India Aviation 2008 at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad. Air India has been forced to ground one of its planes after crew spotted rats scurrying around the cabin, The Times of India reported August 6, 2014. The plane was on its way from New Delhi to Calcutta when staff became aware of the infestation, the paper said. NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

An Air India jet had to be grounded on Monday due to an infestation of rats, according to the The Times of India.

The aircraft’s crew found many rats running in the rear of the Airbus A-321 cabin while flying from Kolkata and landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

The aircraft was taken out of service and sent for fumigation to eliminate the rats as soon as all passengers alighted, the TOI reported.

“Rats on board an aircraft can lead to a catastrophe if they start chewing up electric wires of a fly by wire plane. If that happens, pilots will have no control on any system on board leading to a disaster,” an official told TOI.

Rats on planes was a “universal phenomenon” and the most common way for rats to get onboard was through the catering vans, the official told TOI.

“In-flight caterers must take all precautions in keeping their vans rat-free. All airlines will take up this issue with them,” said the official.

This is not the first time that an Air India flight has suffered a rodent infestation, according to an AFP report. Rats delayed a domestic flight from Mumbai in February for a couple of hours and another flight to Toronto in 2009 was delayed by 11 hours.

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