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Indian, Aussie cricketers survive mid-air scare

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Oct 15, 2007 at 12:35pm IST

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Mumbai: The Australian cricket team and a few Indian cricketers survived a scare on Monday morning after the Jet Airways aircraft flying them experienced a bird-hit 10 minutes into the flight to Mumbai and made an emergency landing.

The Jet flight, NW112, returned to Nagpur after the incident. All the players are safe.

Airline sources, however, maintained that it was not an emergency landing but a 'precautionary landing' after the flight was hit by a bird.

The Indian cricket team has, meanwhile, arrived in Mumbai ahead of their final game against Australia in the seven-match one-day series. Australia beat India by 18 runs in the sixth one-dayer in Nagpur on Sunday.

With the win, Australia lead the one day series 4-1. The last game will be just another game for the Aussies. India will be looking to salvage some pride in the series. The last match will be played on October 17.

Jet Airways sources in Delhi said a ferry service will be launched from Mumbai to pick up the Australian cricket team and a few Indian players waiting at a Nagpur hotel after their flight returned to the airport.

The flight will reach Nagpur at 1315 hours on Monday and then return to Mumbai.

Five blades of the second engine of the Nagpur-Mumbai flight were damaged by the bird-hit, airport sources said.

The flight made an emergency landing within 10 minutes of take off due to the technical snag, the sources said adding all passengers were safe.

The team members were later accommodated in a city hotel close to the airport and the flight was grounded.

Five players from the home team — Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan — had already left for Mumbai on Sunday night after taking part in the sixth and penultimate ODI here, BCCI Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Ratnakar Shetty said.

Shetty said no practice sessions have been scheduled on Monday for both the teams. "It's a rest day for both. Tomorrow the Indians will practise at the Wankhede stadium at 1600 hours while the Australians would do so at the Brabourne stadium at 1400 hours,” he said.

The seventh and final ODI in the bilateral series is scheduled to be held at the Wankhede stadium under lights on October 17.

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