40 flamingoes killed in plane hit in Mumbai, construction near wetlands blamed

An Emirates flight coming from Dubai hit a flock of flamingos while it was landing at Mumbai's airport on Monday evening.
40 flamingoes killed in plane hit in Mumbai, construction near wetlands blamed
Jaano Junction

At least 40 flamingos were found dead in Mumbai's Ghatkopar after being hit by an incoming Emirates aircraft on Monday. However, the flight, EK 508, coming from Dubai landed safely.

The incident took place near the Laxmi Nagar area of Pantnagar in Mumbai. The return flight, bound for Dubai, was cancelled late on Monday night as the aircraft was grounded for a full-scale inspection.

The development left several passengers stranded at Mumbai airport. The Emirates flight 509 to Dubai will now depart on Tuesday at 9 pm. The passengers have been provided accomodation by the airline as per procedure.

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40 flamingoes killed in plane hit in Mumbai, construction near wetlands blamed

The Maharashtra forest department has launched an investigation into the incident and officials collected samples from the site where the carcasses were found.

Another team from the forest department will record the statement of the pilot flying the Emirates aircraft.

"Our team is on the ground and a full-scale investigation has been launched to find out the cause of death of the flamingos. We will also record the statement of the pilot who informed about the bird hit," SV Ramarao, additional chief conservator of forest, said.

Ramarao said such an accident around the airport was unheard of.

It is believed that the flock of flamingos was flying towards the Thane flamingo sanctuary when it was hit by the aircraft. Activists said that the flamingos could have changed their flight path due to construction or pollution.

Environmentalist D Stalin of NGO Vanshakti flagged construction around water bodies in Navi Mumbai and sought a "criminal investigation" into the incident.

"NRI wetlands, TS Chanakya lakes are home to flamingo flocks. If someone or some people chased the birds out at night, the flocks might have attempted to fly towards Thane creek and in the process met with the accident," D Stalin said.

"As a wetlands' committee member, I have repeatedly asked the government to remove all disturbances near the wetlands of Navi Mumbai... agents of builders disguised or masquerading as fishermen keep chasing the birds away. There should be a criminal investigation into this incident... it just doesn't look like a freak accident to me," Stalin further said.

Source: India Today

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