Friday April 19, 2024

Saudi plane makes emergency landing in Karachi after India ‘refuses’ to offload ailing Muslim passenger

Bengali passenger was in bad condition with high blood pressure and continuously vomiting due to his health

By Afzal Nadeem Dogar
February 20, 2024
A Saudi Airline aircraft is seen parked at an airport. — AFP/File
A Saudi Airline aircraft is seen parked at an airport. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Saudia Airlines flight from Bangladesh Tuesday made an emergency landing in the port city after a passenger's health worsened mid-flight.

The Riyadh-bound flight, SV 805, departed from Bangladesh's capital city, Dhaka, at 3:57am and was in the Indian airspace when the 44-year-old Bangladeshi passenger fell sick during the flight, according to airline sources.

Abu Tahir, the Bengali passenger, was in a bad condition with high blood pressure, and continuously vomiting due to his health, airline sources said.

Following the passenger's health, the pilot diverted the aircraft towards Mumbai and sought permission from the Air Traffic Controller in Mumbai for a humanitarian landing.

By the time the air traffic controller could issue permission, the plane had taken the landing approach towards Mumbai. The ATC sought the nationality and other details of the affected passenger and refused to offload the Bangladeshi Muslim passenger.

The Saudi plane was refused entry into the Indian territory, citing the presence of Bengali passengers who were on board the flight.

After receiving instructions from the Mumbai ATC, the pilot sought Karachi Air Traffic Controller for permission to land a flight in the port city after which the aircraft was flown towards Karachi and touched down at the Jinnah International Airport at 7:28am.

The Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) medical team took emergency measures at the airport with doctors arriving to treat the patient as soon as the plane landed.

The Bengali passenger on board the plane was examined by the doctor present at the spot who provided medical aid to him. Following the check-up, the plane flew to Riyadh from Karachi.