The Goa airport was closed temporarily on Saturday afternoon following an incident of fire caused by a drop tank of a naval fighter aircraft, a Navy official said. A portion of the main runway of the airport caught fire after a drop tank of a MiG-29K aircraft fell down from the jet while it was taking off, Navy spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said.
Flash. #GoaAirport closed temporarily for a few hours view incident of fire caused by a drop tank of MiG 29K which got detached whilst taking off. All efforts in hand to resume flights ASAP. MiG 29K fighter ac is safe. @aaigoaairport @AAI_Official pic.twitter.com/5iDRT8r6BX— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) June 8, 2019
He said the airport has been closed for a few hours following the incident that took place around 2 PM. The Goa airport is used for both civilian and military aircraft. “All efforts are on to resume flight services at the airport as soon as possible,” Sharma said.
The MiG-29K, designed and built in Russia, was inducted into the Indian Navy in 2009. The supersonic fighter carries external fuel tanks to improve its range and endurance. While these tanks can be jettisoned in flight, this is rarely done over populated areas. In January last year, a trainer variant of the MiG-29K crashed after it aborted takeoff at Dabolim.