More than 200 US-bound passengers stuck in Russia after plane makes emergency landing

Tribune Content Agency

A plane bound for San Francisco was forced to make an emergency landing in Siberia due to engine issues, leaving passengers stranded in Russia and thousands of miles from their destination.

Air India Flight 173 lifted off from New Delhi on Tuesday evening and quickly “developed a technical issue with one of its engines,” the airline said in a statement on Wednesday. The plane, a Boeing 777 with 216 passengers and 16 crew members onboard, was diverted to the port town of Magadan, where it was able to land safely.

“Given the infrastructural limitations around the remote airport, we can confirm that all passengers were eventually moved to a makeshift accommodation, after making sincere attempts to accommodate passengers in hotels locally with the help of local governments and authorities,” Air India said.

The airline noted that it does not have any staff based in the area, adding that “all ground support being provided to the passengers is the best possible in this unusual circumstance.”

A ferry flight from Mumbai to Magadan took off Wednesday morning and is expected to arrive in the area on Thursday around 6:30 a.m. local time.

Sharing video of the replacement plane leaving the airport, Air India said a team was onboard the flight to “provide any support that the passengers and staff at GDX may require.”

“The ferry flight is carrying essentials in addition to sufficient amount of food to cater to all passengers on the onward flight scheduled from GDX to San Francisco,” the statement said.

In a State Department briefing on Tuesday, principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said the department was “aware of a U.S.-bound flight that had to make an emergency landing in Russia.”

It’s not clear how many U.S. citizens were aboard the flight.