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Plane collides with stray buffalo in India

The chief operating officer of SpiceJet blamed airport security for the collision.

By Ben Hooper

SURAT, India, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Indian airline SpiceJet confirmed a plane was grounded when it struck a wandering buffalo on the runway at an airport in the city of Surat.

SpiceJet released a statement saying the airline has suspended all flights from the Surat airport after a plane carrying 146 people collided with the buffalo Thursday while preparing to take off for a flight to Delhi.

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The passengers from the Boeing 737-800 were moved to another aircraft to resume their journey, the airline said.

The impact killed the buffalo and damaged the plane's engines.

"Stray animals are a growing menace in some airports. This incident has affected our regular operations and hence SpiceJet flights from Surat will now be suspended indefinitely," the SpiceJet statement read.

Sanjiv Kapoor, the airline's chief operating officer, blamed the airport's security for the "simply inexcusable" incident.

"Those trying to absolve airport by equating animal with bird strikes... animals do not fly over airport fences-they walk through gaps!" he tweeted.

Surat airport officials said the incident is under investigation.

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