This Is What It Looks Like When A Boeing Collides With A Water Buffalo

A SpiceJet Boeing 737-800 collided with a stray water buffalo this week while taking off from an airport in the western Indian city of Surat.

All 146 passengers and crew onboard the Delhi-bound flight emerged from the incident unscathed, but the aircraft suffered significant damaged to its left engine. According to the BBC, the low-cost Indian airline claimed the buffalo — which was unfortunately killed   — was essentially invisible on the dark runway. The passengers were flown to their destination on a later SpiceJet flight.

Following the incident, Spicejet announced in a statement on Twitter that it was suspending operations immediately from the airport. 

The airline’s COO, Sanjiv Kapoor, also took to Twitter to blame the airport’s poor security and lacking infrastructure for the collision — calling the presence of a buffalo on the runway “simply inexcusable.”

Passengers and news organisations have tweeted photos of the damaged caused by the collision between the 170,000 pound aircraft and the 1,800-2,000 pound animal.

Although most major airports in India have modern perimeter fencing, some of the smaller provincial facilities have experienced perimeter breaches in recent years. A Kingfisher Airlines aircraft collided with a stray pig in the central Indian city of Nagpur in 2009, reported The Times of India. The publication also reports that a Mumbai Airport shut down for 30 minutes when a stray dog was spotted on its runways in 2010.

Runway incursions are not isolated to the developing world. In 2012, a man scaled an 8-foot tall perimeter fence at New York’s JFK Airport when his jet ski ran out of gas. Earlier this year, a pair of wayward kayakers breached the same perimeter fence near the airport’s runway.

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