Air India: U.S.-bound passengers stranded in Russia back in the air

June 8 (UPI) -- Hundreds of U.S.-bound passengers who were stranded in Russia where their flight made an emergency diversion due to engine problems landed early Thursday in San Francisco, Air India said.

India's flag carrier said via Twitter that the replacement flight had landed at 12:07 a.m. Thursday at San Francisco International Airport, hours after the flight had departed Magadan, Russia.


"All our passengers are being extended maximum on-ground assistance with clearance formalities and provided other necessary support," it said in a statement.

"Air India thanks government agencies, regulatory authorities, our staff and partners involved in supporting our endeavor to bring our passengers to SFO as soon as possible and in providing them care while they waited in Magadan, Russia."

Air India Flight 173, with 216 passengers and 16 crew onboard, had departed from Delhi for San Francisco on Tuesday but diverted to the southern Russian port city of Magadan after the aircraft experienced "a technical issue" with one of its engines.

A ferry flight was then dispatched from Mumbai to Magadan to pick up the passengers who were housed in what Air India called "makeshift accommodation" after being unable to secure them rooms in local hotels.

U.S. State Department principal deputy spokesman Vedant Patel told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that they believe there were fewer than 50 U.S. citizens aboard the flight.

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