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Air India flight bound for US lands in Russia after engine problem

The airliner said the flight from New Delhi to San Francisco safely landed Tuesday at a remote airport in Siberia.
Air India flight bound for US lands in Russia after engine problem
Posted at 6:56 AM, Jun 07, 2023

Air India officials say a flight from New Delhi to San Francisco had to make an emergency landing Tuesday in Russia's far east after experiencing a technical issue with the jet's engine.

The airline said in a statement Wednesday morning that the flight had 216 passengers and 16 crew members on board and safely landed at Russia's Magadan airport in Siberia, about 3,500 miles east of Moscow.

"Given the infrastructural limitations around the remote airport, we can confirm that all passengers were eventually moved to a makeshift accommodation, after making sincere attempts to accommodate passengers in hotels locally with the help of local government authorities," the statement read.

Air India said later Wednesday that a replacement flight had departed from Mumbai to Magadan to pick up the stranded passengers and continue their travel onward to San Francisco on Thursday. The airliner said the ferry flight is also carrying food and other essential items.

While numerous Western countries have been banned from entering Russian airspace following the country's invasion of Ukraine, some carriers like Air India continue to fly over the country. The United States said it is monitoring the situation.

"We are aware of a U.S.-bound flight that had to make an emergency landing in Russia and are continuing to monitor that situation closely," State Department Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters Tuesday.

Patel added that  American citizens were "likely" on board the stranded flight but could not confirm how many.

When asked whether the U.S. was working with Russian officials to ensure safety of the passengers, Patel said he doesn't want to get ahead of the process.

"I'm not going to get into specifics, but, of course, there are steps that we can take in assessing manifests and passengers who may be bound for the United States," he said. "But again, I'm just not going to get ahead of this process beyond saying that we are continuing to monitor the situation."

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