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Fire alarm forces AI to divert Mumbai-Newark flight

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Mumbai, Aug 25 (PTI) An Air India flight carrying over 300people from here to Newark was today diverted to Kazakhstanafter detection of fumes in the cargo hold that triggered afire alarm. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said allpassengers are safe and that there was no reason for worrywhile a relief aircraft is already on the way from New Delhito ferry the stranded passengers to Newark. The Boeing 777-300 ER plane had landed at the Aktobeinternational airport in Kazakhstan at around 0800 hours after"some alarm went off" while it was on its way to Newark. An Air India spokesperson said the flight was diverted dueto technical reasons. There was some alarm that went off andthe engineers are inspecting the flight, he added. An airline source said that fire alarm was set off afterfumes were detected from the cargo hold of the plane. "Thefumes were possibly from some perishable items that might havebeen treated with chemicals," the source added. Since the fire extinguisher is being used in the "slowmode", it would take quite sometime before the aircraft isdeclared as again fit to be airborne. Hence, a relief aircraftis being dispatched, the source said. In a tweet, the airline said the flight has been divertedon account of operational reasons and that all passengers arebeing taken care of. A relief aircraft has left from New Delhi to Aktobe toferry the stranded passengers to Newark. "Our Ambassador Shri Harsh K Jain has informed me that allpassengers are safe. There is no reason for worry," Swarajsaid in a tweet. Generally, Boeing 777-300 ER has a seating capacity ofaround 350 people. "#AI CMD Mr Lohani spoke to Captain Aroob. The pax(passengers) are satisfied and happy that the flt (flight)safely landed in #Kazakhstan," Air India said in a tweet. Aroob is the captain of the flight that was diverted toKazakhstan. PTI IAS RAMABK

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