Hundreds of passengers left stranded in Russia after plane makes emergency landing

Air India plane forced to divert to Siberia
By Harry Kemble
08/06/2023
Home » Hundreds of passengers left stranded in Russia after plane makes emergency landing

Hundreds of passengers were forced to sleep on thin mattresses in a small Siberian town after their US-bound flight made an emergency landing.

On Tuesday (6 June), the Air India flight from Delhi to San Francisco developed technical difficulties with one of the engines, forcing the captain to divert the plane.

The plane was diverted to Magadan, Russia – nearly 11,000 km from Delhi.

Footage on social media shows passengers lying close together on mattresses in local classrooms, which the airline described as ‘makeshift accommodation’.

Air India said ‘sincere attempts’ were made to put 216 passengers and 16 crew members on the AI173 flight in local hotels, before alternative accommodation was found.  

A statement from the airline, reported by Mirror Online, reads: “Given the infrastructural limitations around the remote airport, we can confirm that all passengers were eventually moved to a makeshift accommodation, after making sincere attempts to accommodate passengers in hotels locally with the help of local government authorities.

“As we do not have any Air India staff based in the remote town of Magadan or in Russia, all ground support being provided to the passengers is the best possible in this unusual circumstance.”

The airline sent a replacement plane with provisions for the passengers on Wednesday (7 June).

On Thursday (8 June), Air India tweeted that the plane had landed in San Francisco.

Air India said: “Flight AI173D landed safely in San Francisco at 00.07 Hours on 8 June (local time).

“All our passengers are being extended maximum on-ground assistance with clearance formalities and provided other necessary support.

“Air India thanks government agencies, regulatory authorities, our staff and partners involved in supporting our endeavour to bring our passengers to San Francisco as soon as possible and in providing them care while they waited in Magadan, Russia.”

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