Mumbai, September 14, 2023 – In a dramatic turn of events, a VSR Ventures Learjet 45 aircraft, with registration VT-DBL, veered off the runway at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Thursday, resulting in injuries to eight people, including the pilot and co-pilot. The incident has prompted authorities to temporarily halt operations at the airport for inspection and investigation.
The eight passengers involved in the incident have been rushed to Criticare Asia Hospital in Mumbai’s Andheri East for medical attention. According to a statement from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aircraft was operating a flight from Vizag to Mumbai when it experienced a runway excursion during its landing on runway 27.
Learjet Private Jet skidding due to bad visibility
The DGCA statement also mentioned challenging weather conditions, citing visibility as low as 700 meters due to heavy rain at the time of the incident.
The Mumbai Fire Brigade reported the incident at 5:45 pm, leading to an immediate response from airport authorities. An official statement from the disaster authority stated, “As informed by MFB and Airport Duty Officer, a small private Jet Plane VT-DBL, with six passengers and two crew members on board, skidded off the runway and crashed thereafter at the Domestic Airport while landing.”
The passenger manifest reveals the identities of those on board, including six Indian nationals: Dhruv Kotak, K.K. Krishnadas, Aakarsh Shethi, Arul Sal, Kamakshi, and one Danish national, Lars Sorensen. The crew members have been identified as Captain Sunil and Neil.
Dhruv Kotak, one of the passengers, holds the position of Managing Director at Mumbai-based conglomerate JM Baxi Ports & Logistics Ltd. Arul Sal, his executive assistant, was also on board the aircraft; however, attempts to contact Sal have been unsuccessful as his mobile phone remains switched off.
The incident has raised concerns over aviation safety in adverse weather conditions and has triggered a thorough investigation by aviation authorities. Passengers and their families are anxiously awaiting updates on the condition of the injured individuals, while aviation experts analyze the circumstances surrounding the runway excursion.
As the investigation unfolds, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport remains temporarily closed, impacting travel plans for countless passengers. Authorities are expected to provide further information as they work to determine the cause of this incident and ensure the safety of future flights at the airport.