An Air India flight Flight AI173 from Delhi to San Francisco had to make an emergency landing in Magadan, Russia due to a technical issue in one of its engines. The flight had 216 passengers and 16 crew members on board.
“The passengers are being provided all support on the ground and will be provided alternate options to reach their destinations at the earliest. The aircraft is undergoing the mandatory checks on the ground. We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers,” the airline said in a statement.
“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 through our round-the-clock liaison with the Consulate General of India in Vladivostok, Ministry of External Affairs (Government of India), local ground handlers, and the Russian authorities,” the airline said.
All the passengers have been accommodated in makeshift accommodations and are being looked after. There are reports that the passengers are not being allowed to leave the hostel and are also unable to buy from the vending machines as their credit cards won’t work because of sanctions by USA on Russia.
“We are aware of a US-bound flight that had to make an emergency landing in Russia and are continuing to monitor that situation closely. I’m not able to confirm how many US citizens were aboard the flight at this time,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel told the press.
“It was a flight that was bound for the United States. So, it is, of course, likely that there are American citizens on board. There’s public reporting from Air India that they are sending – what my understanding is – a replacement aircraft to the destination to have the passengers carry on for their route, but I would defer to the air carrier to speak to anything further on this,” Mr Patel said in response to a question.
A replacement flight has been scheduled from Mumbai, India (BOM) to GDX at 13:00 IST on the 7th of June which would take passengers and crew to San Francisco.