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Emirates Flight Hits Flock Of Flamingos Near Mumbai Airport, 40 Birds Killed

A Mumbai air traffic control source reported that the pilots notified them of multiple bird strikes observed on the aircraft fuselage during the post-landing inspection. The pilots reported the bird strike after landing and parking at the bay.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: May 21, 2024 10:16 IST
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Emirates Flight Hits Flock Of Flamingos Near Mumbai Airport, 40 Birds Killed

An Emirates aircraft, just seconds from landing at Mumbai airport, flew into a flock of flamingos on Monday evening, killing at least 40 birds. While flamingo deaths have increased in recent weeks, this marks the first incident involving the birds and an aircraft.

The accident occurred around 8:30 pm as Emirates flight EK 508 was on its final approach to land on the city’s main runway.

A source from Mumbai air traffic control reported that the pilots informed them of multiple bird strikes observed on the aircraft fuselage during the post-landing inspection. The pilots had reported the bird strike after landing and parking at the bay. Assuming the aircraft hit the birds during the final phase of landing before touchdown, a team was sent to inspect the runway for bird carcasses, but none were found, he added.

Long before the air traffic control began inspecting the runway, the residents of Laxmi Nagar, Ghatkopar were already dealing with the aftermath of the accident. “The locality was littered with bird carcasses. Broken pieces of wings, beaks, and claws were scattered over a large area,” said B N Kumar, director of NatConnect Foundation, an NGO focused on environmental issues. He added that the forest department was informed and collected most of the carcasses at night, noting that at least 40 birds were killed in the accident. The birds were flying towards the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS), the only urban Ramsar site in the country, when their flight paths intersected with the aircraft.

Flamingos Changed Their Path In Mumbai

Though most of the carcasses were cleared, early morning joggers still found bird remains in some parts of the locality, causing significant distress among residents, reported a Ghatkopar local. “It is absolutely shocking, as an avian tragedy of this scale has never happened in Mumbai. Flamingos have been seen changing their flight paths due to massive construction projects like Atal Setu. The birds are also disoriented by light pollution, a major concern in cities like Mumbai. This accident calls for a major investigation,” he added.

Mumbai has seen numerous flamingo deaths in recent months. In the last week of April, 12 injured flamingos were discovered in wetlands near Seawoods, Navi Mumbai, and over five of these birds died during treatment. Earlier, a flamingo was hit by a speeding vehicle on Palm Beach Road. In February, three flamingos collided with a billboard, resulting in their deaths. Following this incident, CIDCO removed the billboard.

Also Read: Tragic Bus Accident In MP: 2 Dead, 40 Injured As Bus Plunges Off Bridge

First published on: May 21, 2024 10:16 AM IST

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