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High temperature indication from radioactive cargo on Air India Mumbai-Nagpur flight

A radioactive shipment stored in the cargo hold of an Air India aircraft operating a flight from Mumbai to Nagpur with 72 passengers on board caused a high temperature indication from the hold on Wednesday morning. The return flight was almost four hours late after the plane passed inspection. An Air India spokesperson said: “After landing, a high temperature in the cargo hold due to a sealed shipment of radioactive material was reported. The shipment was unloaded and received by the consignee.” The airline added that after necessary clearance from regulators, its return flight AI-628 from Nagpur to Mumbai will take off with 148 passengers on board.

According to sources, the temperature in the rear cargo area went up to 80 degrees Celsius due to the radioactive material. “It is confirmed that the radioactive material was in the rear cargo hold. Permission to board the return flight was denied,” the source added. While an aviation source said the flight sought a priority landing, an Air India spokesperson denied this. “It was a normal landing for AI-627. No priority landing was sought,” he said. The A320Neo (VT-EXB) departed from Mumbai at 05:44 and landed in Nagpur at 06:50. The return flight to Mumbai scheduled for 7.55am was delayed and took off at 11.50am.

Radioactive material is transported in airplanes according to the provisions of the rules for airplanes (transportation of dangerous goods). “An aircraft that has been contaminated with radioactive materials must be taken out of service immediately and not returned to service until the level of radiation on any accessible surface and non-fixed contamination exceeds the values specified in the technical instructions,” he says. Packages of radioactive materials stored in the aircraft are separated from persons, live animals and undeveloped film in accordance with the above requirements. When loading dangerous goods onto an aircraft, the airline must protect the dangerous goods from damage. The goods should be secured to prevent any in-flight movement that could change the orientation of the packages. “For shipments containing radioactive materials, security must be sufficient to ensure separation from passengers, livestock, etc.,” he adds.



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