Passengers evacuated from Indigo plane in India after smoke scare

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Passengers aboard an Indian Indigo jet were evacuated Wednesday using emergency chutes after air traffic controllers warned the pilot about dense smoke as the plane landed at New Delhi airport.

Some of the 147 people on the Airbus A-320 flight sustained minor injuries during the emergency evacuation, said a statement from Indigo, India's leading private carrier.

"All the passengers were evacuated by the right-hand-side slide-chute and one left-hand-side slide chute in approximately 75 seconds," the budget airline said.

"We confirm that all passengers and crew members are safe."

The plane was arriving in Delhi from Mumbai.

Air traffic controllers informed the pilot about "dense smoke" as the aircraft touched down, the airline said, without giving details of the smoke's origin.

The captain immediately ordered the crew to evacuate all passengers.

Some local TV channels reported that the tyres of the plane had caught fire, but the Indigo statement said there had been "no fire and this was not an emergency or priority landing".

The scare comes after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stripped India of its top safety rating, citing a lack of safety oversight.

The FAA decision in January was based on an audit last year of the country's aviation regulator that found 31 issues of concern, including a shortage of well-trained inspectors to carry out safety checks.

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