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Indian flight makes emergency landing after smoke fills cabin

NEW DELHI (AFP) – An Indian domestic flight made an emergency landing in New Delhi yesterday after its cabin filled with smoke soon after take-off for the central city of Jabalpur, the airline said.

Passengers aboard the flight, operated by commercial carrier SpiceJet, were evacuated safely once the aircraft returned to Delhi’s airport.

“While passing 5,000 feet, the crew noticed smoke in the cabin,” the airline said on Twitter. Video purporting to show the smoke-filled cabin quickly went viral on social media after the incident.

No-frills carrier SpiceJet has been in the news in recent months, with another flight forced to make an emergency landing last month after its left engine caught fire, and aviation authorities coming down hard on the company for faulty training practices.

The airline did not disclose how many passengers were on board yesterday’s flight, but said the plane had landed “safely” and that an alternative flight had been “immediately arranged” for travellers.

In June, a New Delhi-bound SpiceJet flight with 185 passengers on board made an emergency landing in the eastern Indian city of Patna after an engine caught fire.

In May, hundreds of its passengers were stranded inside their planes after the low-cost airline cancelled or delayed flights due to an “attempted ransomware attack”, it said.

That same month, Indian aviation authorities imposed a fine of about USD12,830 on the airline for training its Boeing 737 MAX pilots on a faulty simulator.

Authorities barred 90 SpiceJet pilots from operating that aircraft, saying they were not properly trained, according to local media reports.

A SpiceJet flight was forced to return to Delhi after smoke filled the cabin mid-air. PHOTOS: TWITTER/@ANI