The 18 members’ Bangladeshi delegation — including Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and renowned actress Rokeya Prachi — was on its way to Agartala to attend a film festival
A Kolkata-Agartala bound Air India flight was delayed for around two hours on Sunday after a swarm of bees was noticed in front of the aircraft while it was taxiing towards the main runway here, several Indian media report quoting an airlines official.
The plane with 136 passengers including 18 members’ Bangladeshi delegation and crew members on board the AI 743 flight was scheduled to depart at 9.40am local time.
The Bangladeshi delegation — including Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and renowned actress Rokeya Prachi — was on its way to the Tripura capital to attend a three-day film festival being organized by the Bangladesh government.
“Because of the delay we have requested the organizers to defer the inauguration,” Dr Hasan told Metro from onboard the flight.
Most members of the delegation were upset because they had to remain seated inside the aircraft for over three hours. Some complained the airline staff had kept them in the dark about the problem and handled the situation unprofessionally.
“Had the airline replaced the aircraft that developed snag, it would have been better,” Dr Hasan added.
The bees were detected when the plane’s cabin crew was trying to open the door to allow members of a delegation from Bangladesh to get off. The flight could take off after fire tenders dispersed the swarm by spraying water.
The swarm had settled on the left windscreen of the aircraft and the windows, Kolkata-based newspaper the Telegraph reported quoting unnamed sources. Seeing the bees the crew decided against opening the aircraft’s door.
“There was a technical problem due to which the take off was delayed. Then the aircraft was stalled by bees. The fire services department was called and finally the aircraft could take off at 12.40pm,” an Air India spokesperson said.