Mumbai has recently witnessed a number of events that have maligned the city from its existing glory. Apart from its railways, roadways and water logging crisis, it seems like the air space isn’t safe either. After the unfortunate chartered plane crash in Ghatkopar, we take a walk down memory lane to ponder upon a similar situation which was in greater folds on this day July 7. We also look back at some more tragic mishaps that have occurred in Mumbai over the years.
Alitalia Flight 771
On July 7, 1962, Alitalia Flight 771 crashed into a hill about 84 km north-east of Mumbai killing 94 occupants. The DC-8 crashed into Davandyachi hill where the wreckage of the aircraft was found scattered among trees. There were several causes that led to this tragic event which included navigational errors which led the pilot to believe that he was nearer to his destination than he actually was; failure to maintain the recommended safe altitude; and pilot’s unfamiliarity with the flight route.
Air India Flight 403
The Air India passenger flight crashed at Sahar International Airport in Mumbai, India on 21 June 1982. The cause of the crash was miscalculated altitude in a heavy rainstorm. The fuselage exploded after starting a late go-around. With 111 occupants on board, the crash resulted in casualties with 2 of 12 crew members and 15 of 99 passengers.
Indian Airlines Flight 171
The crash took place while attempting an emergency landing at Mumbai Airport on 12 October 1976, killing all 95 persons on board. The cause of this mishap being a metal fatigue in a compressor-disc had caused the casing to burst, cutting fuel lines and starting an engine fire, which sent the aircraft out of control. Indian actress Rani Chandra also died in the accident.
United Arab Airlines Flight 869
United Arab Airlines Flight 869 was an international scheduled passenger de Havilland Comet 4C flight from Tokyo, Japan to Cairo via Hong Kong, Bangkok, Bombay and Bahrain. On 28 July 1963, while approaching Mumbai’s Santa Cruz Airport it crashed into the Arabian Sea with the loss of all 63 passengers and crew on board. Since no wreckage was salvaged and the crew did not report any problems, it was concluded that the aircraft was probably lost due to loss of control while turning in severe turbulence and heavy rain.
Air India Flight 855
Air India Flight 855 from Mumbai to Dubai was a passenger flight that crashed during New Year’s Eve in 1978 near Bandra in Mumbai. All 213 passengers and crew on board were killed. The crash was believed to have been caused by the captain having become spatially disoriented after the failure of one of the flight instruments in the cockpit.