Mumbai, Nov 14 (PTI) Nearly 160 passengers and crew on board a Hyderabad-bound IndiGo flight from Visakhapatnam had a narrow escape when a wild boar strayed on the runway and came under the aircraft while it was in the last stage of taxiing.

As the pilot could not have rejected the take off at that time, he was forced to get the aircraft airborne but landed back shortly to assess any possible damage to the Airbus plane as a precaution, IndiGo said in a statement today.

After all the required checks and inspections were carried out by the engineering team, the aircraft resumed its journey, albeit with a delay of one-and-a-half hours, the airline said.

There were 159 passengers and crew on board the plane.

The incident, which took place on Sunday, has been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

“The IndiGo flight 6E-742 from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad struck a wandering wild boar on the runway during take-off. As per the standard operating procedures, the captain immediately reported the matter to the Air Traffic Control and decided to hold over Vizag,” the airline said in the statement.

After 45 minutes, the pilot carried out a precautionary landing back at the Vizag airport to get the necessary inspections done, it said.

While all this led to a delay of one-and-a-half hours, “we ensured customer safety at all times,” IndiGo said.

The Gurgaon-based airline also said that it has raised the issue of birds and wildlife endangering the safety of the passengers as well as the flight operations, with the Visakhapatnam airport authorities.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.