NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian airliner crashed into a stray buffalo during take-off from the western city of Surat although no passengers or crew were hurt, the plane’s operator, SpiceJet Ltd, said on Friday.
The airline was forced to ground the Boeing 737 which suffered “substantial damages”, it said.
SpiceJet said the buffalo, which was killed in the accident on Thursday evening, was “essentially invisible” against a dark background. Passengers on the Delhi-bound aircraft were transferred on to another plane, SpiceJet said.
“Stray animals are a growing menace in some airports,” SpiceJet said in a statement.
“This incident has affected our regular operations and hence SpiceJet flights from Surat will now be suspended after this incident.”
Poorly maintained fences at some Indian airports mean animals can stray onto runways.
Reporting by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Robert Birsel