New Delhi: Air India will send an empty flight this afternoon, on June 7, to Magdan town in Russia where 216 passengers and 16 crew members of a Delhi-San Francisco plane are stranded.
The original Air India flight, which departed Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday, June 6, at 4 am, had to be diverted to Russia following an engine malfunction.
Times of India has reported that because the Russian port town is small, it does not have hotels big enough to host all 232 people, who have thus been living in makeshift accommodations.
A purported passenger had tweeted that “conditions have become miserable” in the town. Twitter’s geographical pin placed the tweeter at Magadan.
#AI173 with 216 passengers stuck in Magadan, Russia since 2 pm IST Tue 6/6 after technical issues. Passengers staying at makeshift accommodation in a nearby school. Conditions have become miserable, no updates from @airindia, bad food. Crew not helping. @PMOIndia @DrSJaishankar pic.twitter.com/05NprP9PCw
— Dipankar Niranjan (@dip_niranjan) June 7, 2023
A stranded passenger identified as ‘Gagan’, told NDTV that Russian authorities were co-operative.
“Some people were sent to a school and are lying on mattresses on the floor. The toilet facilities are not right. Language is a barrier. The food here is very, very different. There’s a lot of seafood and non-veg. Some people are just eating bread and soup. Older people running out of medicine,” he said.
The plane has a number of American citizens, which coupled with icy equations between the US and Russia following the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, has led to significant interest in the outcome.
The Air India flight was scheduled to take off at 1 pm from Magdan. It will carry food and other essentials for passengers.