scorecardAir India passengers stranded in Siberia for 2 days were abandoned by the crew, had to sleep on the floor, and were only given bread and rice, relative says
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Air India passengers stranded in Siberia for 2 days were abandoned by the crew, had to sleep on the floor, and were only given bread and rice, relative says

Sophia Ankel   

Air India passengers stranded in Siberia for 2 days were abandoned by the crew, had to sleep on the floor, and were only given bread and rice, relative says
LifeThelife2 min read
Air India Airbus A320 aircraft.    Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images
  • An Air India plane heading to San Francisco had to make an emergency landing in Siberia on Tuesday.
  • Hundreds of passengers had to stay the night in what appeared to be a local school.

Air India passengers stranded in a remote Siberian town for two days were abandoned by the crew, had to sleep on the floor, and were only given bread and rice, a relative told Insider.

Two hundred and sixteen passengers and 16 crew members landed in Magadan, Russia, on Tuesday after the Boeing 777 developed an engine problem and was forced to make an emergency landing, Air India said in a statement.

The flight was heading from New Delhi to San Francisco.

Satwinder Singh, a man whose mother was on board the flight, told Insider that passengers had to wait hours on the plane before they were allowed to disembark and that they were then eventually brought to what looked like a school building.

They spent the night there but were given only a small mattress and blanket to sleep on, he said.

"Since they have been in that building, no crew members have been with them, no one has been giving them any information. There are no adequate provisions for food and drink," he added.

Singh said that crew members were nowhere to be found and that passengers were only given tea and bread around 6.00 a.m. local time and rice with bread around 1.30 p.m.

He said he tried to contact Air India multiple times to help his mother, who was given no information on the ground.

Air India did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Twitter video seemed to corroborate some of Singh's claims. It showed people sleeping on rows of mattresses on what appeared to be a basketball court. Insider was unable to independently verify the footage.

The passengers have since been picked up by another Air India plane and landed in San Francisco in the early hours of Thursday morning, the airline wrote on Twitter.

In a letter sent to passengers, Air India apologized for the event, saying that it would fully refund the fare for the journey and provide customers with travel vouchers.

"While the facilities in Magadan, a small city, may not have met the standard we would normally aim to provide, we are grateful for your tolerance and understanding that our local agents and crew did their best under the circumstances," the letter said.

"Although we cannot change the past, I trust that this gesture conveys our sincere regrets for the disruption and inconvenience," the letter added.




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