An Air India flight was delayed by several hours after a swarm of bees blocked the cockpit window of the plane and attacked staff who tried to remove them, officials said Monday.
The incident occurred at Kolkata airport on Sunday before the plane carrying 136 passengers including Bangladesh's Information Minister Hasan Mahumud was to fly to the north-eastern state of Tripura.
The swarm of bees were a visual obstruction for the pilot as the plane was taxiing toward the main runway, airport director Kaushik Bhattacharjee said.
‘The insects then attacked the ground staff who were asked for help to remove them. Finally, a fire [fighter] had to be called that used water cannon to disperse the swarm in a 45-minute operation,’ Bhattacharjee said.
The flight to Tripura took off after a three-hour delay.
Kolkata airport has reported similar incidents in the past, including in 2012, when bees delayed another domestic flight.
‘I have heard of similar incidents involving bees ... but I'm not quite sure why it happened. It was a freak incident,’ Bhattacharjee said.
Airport authorities told local media they searching the premises for any bees' nests or beehives.
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