Vishakapatnam: As many as 160 passengers and crew aboard an IndiGo flight had a narrow escape when a wild boar showed up on the runway and came under the aircraft while it was in the last stage of taxiing. As there was no time to abort the take-off, the pilot went ahead, but returned shortly to assess any possible damage to the Airbus plane as a precaution, the IndiGo said in a statement today.

The incident has been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). "The IndiGo flight 6E-742 from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad struck a wandering wild boar on the runway during take-off. As per the standard operating procedures, the captain immediately reported the matter to the Air Traffic Control and decided to hold over Vizag," the airline said in the statement.

The pilot made a precautionary landing back at the Vizag airport after about 45 minutes to get the aircraft inspected. "We ensure customer safety at all times," IndiGo said. After all the safety checks were carried out, the flight resumed its journey, but not before a delay of one-and-a-half hours, the airline said.

The Gurgaon-based airline also said that it has raised the issue of birds and wildlife endangering the safety of the passengers as well as the flight operations, with the Visakhapatnam airport authorities.