Muscat: A false fire alarm in the cargo hold forced a Saudi Airline aircraft to make an emergency landing on Sunday night at the Muscat International Airport, resulting in closure of the airstrip for about an hour during peak hours.
According to sources at the airport, the aircraft system signalled a fire alarm while the Boeing 777 was on its way from Mumbai to Riyadh.
“It seems that heat emanated from the fruit cargo, kept in the hold, activating the fire alarm in the aircraft system and forcing the captain to make an emergency landing at around 8pm,” the source told Gulf News on Monday.
The Civil Defence teams at the airport carried out a thorough check on the aircraft after 341 passengers were deplaned. “The alarm turned out to be false so the aircraft was towed away from the runway to clear the airstrip for the traffic,” an official with the Civil Aviation Authorities told government-owned Oman News Agency (ONA).
The air traffic at Muscat International Airport came to a halt for over an hour due to the emergency landing. “After the Saudi Airline aircraft was towed away from the runway, all operations were back to normal,” he said.
The Saudi Airline flight then resumed its flight to Riyadh in the early hours of Monday after over six-hour stoppage due to the emergency landing.
No one was available for comment on the incident from the Saudi Airline in Muscat.