Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya “mistakenly” opened the emergency exit of an IndiGo plane last month and has apologized for it, reports. The incident is receiving mixed reactions on Twitter.
Opening the emergency exit
Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya “mistakenly” opened the emergency exit of a plane. The IndiGo airline had recently stated that on December 10, a passenger had accidentally opened the emergency exit of flight 6E 7339 (Chennai to Tiruchirapalli) at the Chennai airport during the boarding process, when the plane was on the tarmac. The airline added that the passenger had apologized.
Now Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia’s statement confirms that BJP MP Surya was the passenger in question and that the incident happened over a month ago.
“When the incident happened, Tejasvi Surya, himself reported it to the pilot and crew. The full protocol was followed as the DGCA investigated. Only after all checks, the aircraft took off. He (Surya) himself apologized for the delay caused due to the incident,” said Scindia.
The minister added that it was important to look at the facts. “The door was opened by him by mistake when the flight was on the ground. He has apologized.”
After the statement went viral, several opposition parties, especially congress slammed the BJP leader. They even questioned why Mr. Surya “got away with a mere apology” and did not face more serious action.
“The passenger immediately apologized for the action. As per SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), the incident was logged and the aircraft underwent mandatory engineering checks, which led to a delay in the flight’s departure,” said IndiGo’s statement on Tuesday, not revealing the name of the flyer.
This is how Tejasvi Surya might have “accidentally" opened the emergency exit by "lightly resting his hand on the door".
Passengers & Indigo must thank Surya for not doing this midair! pic.twitter.com/MiYizJSwon
— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) January 18, 2023
— Nimo Tai 🇮🇳 (@Cryptic_Miind) January 18, 2023
— Satish Acharya (@satishacharya) January 18, 2023
— Ashish Bagchi (@BagchiAsh) January 18, 2023
Emergency exit door hai ya 'Touch screen'. How can an emergency exit "accidentally" open just by "lightly resting his hand on the door". What if this occurs while airborne? I think Tejasvi Surya should instead file an FIR against IndiGo for a low quality Emergency exit door. pic.twitter.com/3ADZtZAZLB
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) January 18, 2023
Speaking in the defense, Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai, who was also on the flight said, “It was an ATR 72, a small aircraft. In a small aircraft, the emergency doors will be on the front side. Tejasvi Surya was seated in the emergency seat. In that ATR aircraft, you will not even find a handrest. He was just holding the emergency door. We were chatting, and at that time the flight didn’t take off. People were still boarding.”
“After a while, he told me that there was a bleed that had peeled off and there was a gap in the door. I also saw that and alerted the air hostess. Thereafter, she called the pilot and narrated the incident. The pilot had to follow the procedure and he had de-boarded the passengers,” claimed the Tamil Nadu BJP chief.
He further added, “They rectified the problem and fixed the door. Tejasvi Surya had given an incident report on the same. When these kinds of incidents occur, they have to submit in writing about the incident. So, he gave the report in the incident form.”
Meanwhile, a fellow passenger watching all that happening said,
“I was sitting on the aisle seat on the left side of the aircraft and the flights were already delayed due to heavy storms. Both Tejasvi Surya and Annamalai were seated on the same row as me but on the right side. Surya was seated next to the Emergency exit,” a fellow passenger described to News18 while seeking anonymity.
He further said, “I saw Surya reaching out to close the vent of the air conditioner. While withdrawing his hand down, his elbow touched the door. It looked as if the door had popped out and moved out of its position. Nothing was done on purpose. It (door) came off slightly away from its setting as I saw it from where I sat.”